Neglected tropical diseases

New leishmaniasis country profiles based on routine surveillance data

14 July 2016 | Geneva −−The World Health Organization (WHO) is leading an effort to leverage routine leishmaniasis surveillance data from 25 high-burden countries from WHO regions to create new profiles.

“We have created a standardized country profile that will allow national programmes to make better use of their own routine surveillance data and to compare it with other countries” said Dr José Postigo, Team Leader, Global Leishmaniasis Control and Surveillance Programme, WHO Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases.

The data include breakdown of new, relapse and imported cases; populations at risk; control and surveillance (including latest national guidelines, number of leishmaniasis health facilities), diagnosis (such as number of people screened, proportion of positive rapid diagnostic tests) and treatment including initial cure and case-fatality rates.

““We laud the efforts of countries in improving their surveillance systems” ” said Dr Dirk Engels, Director of the WHO Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases. “This new approach to sharing routine surveillance information will greatly help in monitoring the progress national programmes are making to control or eliminate the disease.”

This is the first time that such detailed data have been made available for leishmaniasis. Such an exercise is planned for every year to progressively extend the project to other endemic countries.

“This new country profile format represents a consensus reached by different countries and regions and tries to strike a fair balance between the great variety and complexity of the disease in different parts of the world versus a simplified way to standardize core indicators” said Dr Daniel Dagne Argaw, Coordinator of WHO’s Innovative and Intensified Disease Management unit.

Creation of the new profiles will enhance data analysis and will indicate the performance of national control programmes and surveillance systems. It will also allow weaknesses to be identified so that appropriate actions can be taken.

Access the country profiles