Integrated mapping of lymphatic filariasis and podoconiosis is crucial because the two diseases are identified as priority NTDs in Ethiopia, have similar clinical features, occur in the same target age group (individuals >15 years old) and diagnosis of one requires exclusion of the other. Preliminary analysis of existing data on LF and podoconiosis indicated that there are potential overlaps of the two diseases in some geographical areas.
To this end, in order to map the distribution and prevalence of lymphatic filariasis and podoconiosis in Ethiopia, a coordinated mapping of these two diseases was conducted in 657 districts of Ethiopia. A total of 1314 communities (two from each district) and around 130,000 individuals were covered during this integrated mapping. In June 2013,136 health providers, including health officers, nurses and laboratory technicians, received training for four days on data collection and diagnostic tools.
The mapping was conducted through collaborations between the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute (EHNRI), Brighton and Sussex Medical School, the Center for Neglected Tropical Diseases (CNTD) and the Global Atlas of Helminth Infections (GAHI) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and supported by DfID, End Fund, and the Wellcome Trust. Smartphones were effectively used to collect the mapping data. The mapping was conducted from June- September 2013 and the final result of the mapping is expected to be released within the coming three months.