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Establishment and integration of a visceral leishmaniasis surveillance system in the primary health care system and its evaluation, Meshkin-Shahr District, Iran

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Author(s): Mehdi Mohebali | Gholamhossein Edrissian | Mohammad Reza Shirzadi | Yavar Hosseingholizadeh | Mohammad Hossein Pashaei | Akbar Ganji | Zabihallah Zarei | Ahmad Kousha | Behnaz Akhoundi | Homa Hajjaran | Hossein Malekafzali

Journal: Journal of School of Public Health and Institute of Public Health Research
ISSN 1735-7586

Volume: 9;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Visceral leishmaniasis | Direct Agglutination Test | Primary health care system | Integration | Children | Iran

ABSTRACT
Background and Aim: Visceral leishmaniasis is a systemic parasitic disease with a high fatality rate in under-5-year-old children. The disease is endemic in some parts of Iran, particularly in the north-west region. In 2001 a visceral leishmaniasis (VL) surveillance system was established for children aged ≤ 12 years in the primary health system in Meshkin-Shahr District, Ardebil Province, situated in the north-west of Islamic Republic of Iran. Materials and Methods: All cases with clinical signs and symptoms of VL and confirmed positive by the direct agglutination test (DAT) were referred for physical examination and treatment. Results: The mean annual incidence of VL decreased significantly from 1.88 per 1000 children before (1985-2000), to 0.77 per 1000 child population after (2001-07), the intervention. In the control area with no surveillance, it increased from 0.11 to 0.23 per 1000. Conclusion: Early detection of VL using serological tests and timely treatment of cases can decrease the mortality and morbidity rates of VL in endemic areas.

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