Using leprosy elimination campaign on leprosy case finding: Case series study in Kurdistan, Iran
Keywords:Leprosy, Case Series, Iran
BACKGROUND: Because of the long incubation period of leprosy and disability caused by it, even mother to fetus transmission has been reported. Thus, this disease causes much alarm. Kurdistan Province, which is located in the Western part of Iran, is one of the regions that have previously suffered from endemic leprosy. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of the leprosy elimination campaign (LEC) on leprosy case finding in Baneh, Iran, in 2012.
METHODS: This case series study was conducted in Baneh District. Case finding was performed via LEC method, which is a recommended method for leprosy case finding in endemic areas. The performed steps included public education, and screening families of ex-patients through careful examination, identification of suspected cases, and diagnosis based on specialist’s examination.
RESULTS: The families of ex-patients were assessed and 76 people who had prolonged exposure to ex-patients were invited to be examined by a trained general physician. Subsequently, 50 people were referred to a dermatologist for further examinations, 5 of whom and 1 unexposed person underwent bacteriological test for further evaluation. The results of all the tests were negative.
CONCLUSION: Active leprosy case finding and use of LEC method require a great deal of money and efforts to identify a small number of patients. Because a district like Baneh is in the process of eliminating leprosy and since the economic and social situation has changed greatly over the past two decades, LEC method is no longer cost effective.
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