The prevalence of scabies, pyoderma and other communicable dermatoses in the Bijagos Archipelago, Guinea-Bissau
Background: Skin diseases represent a significant public health problem in most low and middle income settings. Nevertheless, there is a relative paucity of high-quality epidemiological data on the prevalence of these conditions.
Materials/methods: We conducted two cross-sectional population-based skin-surveys of children (6 months to 9 years old) in the Bijagos Archipelago of Guinea-Bissau during the dry season (February-March 2018) and the wet season (June-July 2018). Following a period of training, a nurse performed a standardised examination for communicable dermatoses for each participant. We calculated the prevalence of each skin condition and investigated demographic associations.
Results: 1062 children were enrolled in the dry season survey of whom 318 (29.9%) had at least one skin diseases. The most common diagnosis was tinea capitis (154/1062, 14.5% - 95% CI 12.5-16.8%) followed by tinea corporis (84/1062, 7.9% - 95% CI 6.4-9.7%), pyoderma (82/1062, 7.7% - 95% CI 6.2-9.5%) and scabies (56/1062. 5.2% - 95%CI 4.0 - 6.8%). 320 children were enrolled in the wet season survey of whom 121 (37.8%) had at least one skin problem. Tinea capitis remained the most common diagnosis (79/320, 24.7% - 95% CI 20.1 - 29.9%), followed by pyoderma (38/320, 11.9% - 95% CI 8.6-16.1%), tinea corporis (23/320, 7.2% - 95% 4.7 - 10.7%) and scabies (6/320, 1.9% - 95% CI 0.8-4.2%).
Conclusions: Our study, which utilised robust population-based cluster random sampling methodology, demonstrates the substantial disease burden caused by common communicable dermatoses in this setting. Given these findings, there is a need to consider common dermatoses as part of Universal Health Coverage to deliver skin-health for all.