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Leprosy is caused by Mycobacterium leprae and has been known since biblical times (Lastória, 2014). This disease primarily
affects various parts of the body which are the skin, the peripheral nerves,
mucosa of the upper respiratory tract and the eyes. Leprosy can be treated with
multidrug therapy, but treatment may last many years or maybe a lifetime which
makes the compliance difficult for the patients. If left untreated, leprosy can
cause massive and permanent damage to skin, nerves, limbs, and eyes. According
to Global Health Observatory Data, a total of 145 countries or territories are
reported on leprosy in the year 2016. Also, new cases of leprosy detected
reached a total of 214 783 and the registered prevalence was 171 947 cases.

            Tuberculosis
is one of the top ten causes of death worldwide (World Health Organization, 2017). Like leprosy, it is
also caused by a bacillus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Over 95% of Tuberculosis caused deaths occur in low- and middle-income
countries. In 2016, 10.4 million people fell ill with tuberculosis and 1.7
million died from the disease. India is the leading country among the seven
countries that accounts for the 64% of the total. It is then followed by
Indonesia, China, Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, and South Africa (World Health Organization, 2017).  

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            One-third of the
world’s burden of tuberculosis, or about 4.9 million prevalent cases, is found
in the World Health Organization South-east Asia region and it has caused a
huge economic impact. For instance in 2006, tuberculosis
caused India to lose an estimated 23.7 billion United States dollars. In 2012,
it carries about 39.5% morbidity and 48% mortality of the
global burden of tuberculosis,  In 2016, an estimated 1 million children became ill
with tuberculosis and 250 000 children died of tuberculosis. (World health organization, 2010). Leprosy on the
other hand, exists as a health disease in limbo. It is too large to be considered eliminated and with too few cases to get the
final resources needed for true elimination. However, The South-East Asia
Region accounted for 71% of new cases detected worldwide in 2012 with 166, 445
cases reported (World Health Organization, 2012).

            In
the Philippines, tuberculosis is a major health problem. According to the World
Health organization, 260 000 incident cases and 28 000 tuberculosis-caused
death is estimated in the year 2011. Leprosy on the other hand has more than a
thousand cases reported every year. The US Senate Committee on the State of
Health in the Philippine Islands, in 1899, singled out leprosy as a significant
problem. The US Army survey team investigated suitable sites for collecting and
segregating people with leprosy, and considered the Culion Island in the
Calamianes, in 1901. It was called the Island of the Living Dead. Sixty percent
of those admitted died in the first four years. (4,473 admitted, 2,674 died)
Many had arrived in a very bad condition. They also suffered from beriberi and
influenza. From 1936-1941, the average admissions per year to Culion shrank to
only 240. By the end of 1941, there were less than 5,500 people on the island.
Then during the war years, 1,256 people fled Culion in 1942, and many failed to
reach their destinations, while half of the 4,000 who remained died (Robertson, 2005). In 2010, the prevalence
of leprosy reached 2873 (0.31) and 2041 new cases were detected in the country.
In terms of absolute number of leprosy cases, the country ranks first in the
Western Pacific Region. Even though the disease has been eliminated in 1998 at
the national level, pockets of leprosy cases still exist in the regions,
particularly in Ilocos Sur and Southern Mindanao.

            Sarangani
province in Mindanao is highly affected by these diseases. Most Sarangans live
in places far away from health centers and schools or urbanized area. Poverty
is also widespread in this area that is why enough sanitation, knowledge, and
poverty, infectious diseases particularly tuberculosis and Leprosy pose a huge
threat to the province. About (96
per 100,000 population in 2008 Tubeculosis cases were reported in
the area (Department Of Health, 2007). Leprosy also
contributes in such horrible infections in the province which infected 48 out of 424,358 population (Villarama,
1999). Leprosy is generally more common in males than females with a
ratio of 2:1. Such numbers of mortality rate will continue to grow
if the disease is not properly managed. This research is conducted in order to
help the people and the government of Sarangani to provide ideal preventive
measure in preventing the widespread of these diseases and provide information
about the factors and correlations involving the infection of Leprosy and
Tuberculosis. 

 

 

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