Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Skin diseases

Skin diseases have been of major concern recently due to their association with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immunity Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS). The study area (northern Maputaland) has the highest HIV infection rate in South Africa, which made them more prone to a wide range of skin conditions. Fungal infections due to the hot climate and overcrowding households are common in this area, as well as burn accidents due to the use of wood as the major fuel for cooking. It is known that the lay people in this area depend on medicinal plants for their primary health care. However no survey has been done in northern Maputaland to document the medicinal plants used to treat various skin disorder.

Interviews were undertaken at 80 homesteads, using structured questionnaires. The focus was on plants used for dermatological conditions and information regarding vernacular plant names, plant parts used, preparation (independently and in various combinations) and application was collected. With increasingly successful management of HIV, focus has shifted away from AIDS-related complications to other chronic co-morbidities. For HIV-related cognitive problems, the true aetiopathogenesis and epidemiology remains unclear. Rather than a systematic review, this paper presents the challenges and the opportunities we faced in establishing our own clinical service. Papers were identified using Pubmed and the terms "screening", "HIV" and "neurocognitive".

No comments: