The dissertation titled “The burden of disease due to onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis in Africa: past, present and future” concerns two important parasitic infectious diseases of the tropics. Both infections are caused by a specific species of filarial worms and can cause a broad spectrum of clinical morbidity in the affected population, including blindness (onchocerciasis) and elephantiasis/elephant legs (Lymphatic Filariasis, LF). The research focused on how the disease burden of onchocerciasis and LF, in terms of total cases and life years with disabilities (DALYs), has changed since the introduction of large-scale mass treatment programs in Africa and what burden will remain in 2030. DALYs are a measure that takes into account both loss of quality of life and premature death. To calculate this, the association between infection and morbidity at the community level prior to mass treatment was first quantified. Subsequently, mathematical models have been used to calculate the impact of interventions on initial levels of infection by onchocerciasis and LF across Africa. The study predicted past, current and future disease prevalence, as well as the number of cases and lost DALYs due to onchocerciasis and LF. This work concludes that interventions have a remarkable impact on the prevention of onchocerciasis and LF, although by 2030 millions of people will still suffer from morbidity in Africa from one or both infections.
|Award date||15 Nov 2022|
|Place of Publication||Rotterdam|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Nov 2022|