2002 - Leishmaniasis in Pakistan - Update
12 February 2002
Disease Outbreak Reported
WHO and the Ministry of Health have carried out a second assessment mission to the Northwest Frontier Province (see previous report) and have reported 5000 cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Kurram Agency and other Agencies of the Province. The epidemiological pattern suggests anthroponotic transmission (man to man) through the sandfly vector with no animals involved.
15 000 vials of petavalent antimonials (first-line drugs) are needed immediately to treat the cases. WHO has sent 7 000 vials to the WHO Country Office and the government of Iran has generously pledged an additional 1 670 vials. WHO has purchased the remaining drugs still required (6 400 vials), which will be available in early March.
The mission recommended a plan of action to involve the Ministry of Health, WHO, UNHCR and nongovernmental organizations in the area which will cover: the training of local health workers and the translation of guidelines into the local languages, intensified surveillance and vector control activities to prevent further transmission.
The most affected group in Kurram Agency are children below the age of 15.