"Leishmaniasis is endemic in 88 countries and even though it affects nearly 2 million new patients each year transmitted by a tiny phlebotomine sand-fly, it is still among the world’s neglected diseases.
In a partnership with the Sanofi Espoir Foundation, the Aggeu Magalhães Research Center (attached to the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation) launched a monitoring and care program in 2003, in close cooperation with five municipalities in the Pernambuco region to assess the epidemiology of leishmaniasis. This program built on 3 actions lines to boost the effectiveness of treatment:
-Training technicians and community health workers to carry out early detection
-Transporting patients and monitoring treatment
-Supporting collective action to prevent the disease
The work is being carried out in close collaboration with city halls, as these manage the Family Health Program and lead prevention campaigns in schools. It is vital to mobilize all players to ensure that patients are transported as soon as possible to reference centers, where they can be accurately diagnosed and receive closely monitored treatment.
Through the program designed by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, and its large database on the disease’s epidemiology, this initiative will act as a model for similar projects in other endemic regions and will help set up a national plan to sight leishmaniasis, which has already been diagnosed in nearly 2,700 towns and cities across the country.
Since the beginning of the program, 824 health professionals (doctors and veterinarians) have been trained.
|Location||Latin America and Caribbean, Brazil|