The Prevalence of Skin Disease Among School Children in Rural Ethiopia—A Preliminary Assessment of Dermatologic Needs


Jose I. Figueroa, M.D., St John's Institute of Dermatology.Guys'Hospital. London SE1 9RT, United Kingdom.


Abstract: It Is always assumed that the prevalence of skin diseases in developing countries is very high, and that infestations and skin Infections are highly endemic in poor rural communities; however, very few epidemiologlc reports verify these assumptions. As part of a continuing Study of dermatologic needs in southwestern Ethiopia, and to estimate the prevalence of treatable skin disease in children, a school survey was undertaken in Shebe. In October 1992,112 children were examined by a team of dermatologists and their conditions were recorded. Twenty-two children (19.6%) were considered healthy and 90 (80.4%) had one or more skin diseases. A total of 140 conditions were identified and considered treatable in 98% of children. Infestations were the most prevalent skin pathology, 81.2%, followed by fungal infections, 13.4%.