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Human African trypanosomiasis in South Sudan: how can we prevent a new epidemic?

Ruiz-Postigo JA, Franco JR, Lado M, Simarro PP - PLoS Negl Trop Dis (2012)

Bottom Line: Control measures for outbreak response were reduced when the prevalence decreased and/or socio-political crisis erupted, leading to a new increase in the number of cases.The current status of control activities for HAT in South Sudan could lead to a new outbreak of the disease unless 1) the remaining competent personnel are used to train younger staff to resume surveillance and treatment in the centers where HAT activities have stopped, and 2) control of HAT continues to be given priority even when the number of cases has been substantially reduced.Failure to implement an effective and sustainable system for HAT control and surveillance will increase the risk of a new epidemic.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: World Health Organization, Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Cairo, Egypt. postigoj@emro.who.int

ABSTRACT
Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) has been a major public health problem in South Sudan for the last century. Recurrent outbreaks with a repetitive pattern of responding-scaling down activities have been observed. Control measures for outbreak response were reduced when the prevalence decreased and/or socio-political crisis erupted, leading to a new increase in the number of cases. This paper aims to raise international awareness of the threat of another outbreak of sleeping sickness in South Sudan. It is a review of the available data, interventions over time, and current reports on the status of HAT in South Sudan. Since 2006, control interventions and treatments providing services for sleeping sickness have been reduced. Access to HAT diagnosis and treatment has been considerably diminished. The current status of control activities for HAT in South Sudan could lead to a new outbreak of the disease unless 1) the remaining competent personnel are used to train younger staff to resume surveillance and treatment in the centers where HAT activities have stopped, and 2) control of HAT continues to be given priority even when the number of cases has been substantially reduced. Failure to implement an effective and sustainable system for HAT control and surveillance will increase the risk of a new epidemic. That would cause considerable suffering for the affected population and would be an impediment to the socioeconomic development of South Sudan.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Number of people screened and patients treated according to NGO and period of intervention.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection


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pntd-0001541-g002: Number of people screened and patients treated according to NGO and period of intervention.

Mentions: By 2005, there were 12 health facilities in Equatoria carrying out HAT control activities, 11 of them run by NGOs and one—in Juba—by the Ministry of Health (MoH). Active and passive screening and treatment implemented despite the social and armed conflict conditions under which they had to operate resulted in more than 500,000 people screened and more than 16,000 patients treated between 1998 and 2005 (Figure 2). This led to a significant decrease in the subsequent number of cases reported [29].


Human African trypanosomiasis in South Sudan: how can we prevent a new epidemic?

Ruiz-Postigo JA, Franco JR, Lado M, Simarro PP - PLoS Negl Trop Dis (2012)

Number of people screened and patients treated according to NGO and period of intervention.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3362634&req=5

pntd-0001541-g002: Number of people screened and patients treated according to NGO and period of intervention.
Mentions: By 2005, there were 12 health facilities in Equatoria carrying out HAT control activities, 11 of them run by NGOs and one—in Juba—by the Ministry of Health (MoH). Active and passive screening and treatment implemented despite the social and armed conflict conditions under which they had to operate resulted in more than 500,000 people screened and more than 16,000 patients treated between 1998 and 2005 (Figure 2). This led to a significant decrease in the subsequent number of cases reported [29].

Bottom Line: Control measures for outbreak response were reduced when the prevalence decreased and/or socio-political crisis erupted, leading to a new increase in the number of cases.The current status of control activities for HAT in South Sudan could lead to a new outbreak of the disease unless 1) the remaining competent personnel are used to train younger staff to resume surveillance and treatment in the centers where HAT activities have stopped, and 2) control of HAT continues to be given priority even when the number of cases has been substantially reduced.Failure to implement an effective and sustainable system for HAT control and surveillance will increase the risk of a new epidemic.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: World Health Organization, Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Cairo, Egypt. postigoj@emro.who.int

ABSTRACT
Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) has been a major public health problem in South Sudan for the last century. Recurrent outbreaks with a repetitive pattern of responding-scaling down activities have been observed. Control measures for outbreak response were reduced when the prevalence decreased and/or socio-political crisis erupted, leading to a new increase in the number of cases. This paper aims to raise international awareness of the threat of another outbreak of sleeping sickness in South Sudan. It is a review of the available data, interventions over time, and current reports on the status of HAT in South Sudan. Since 2006, control interventions and treatments providing services for sleeping sickness have been reduced. Access to HAT diagnosis and treatment has been considerably diminished. The current status of control activities for HAT in South Sudan could lead to a new outbreak of the disease unless 1) the remaining competent personnel are used to train younger staff to resume surveillance and treatment in the centers where HAT activities have stopped, and 2) control of HAT continues to be given priority even when the number of cases has been substantially reduced. Failure to implement an effective and sustainable system for HAT control and surveillance will increase the risk of a new epidemic. That would cause considerable suffering for the affected population and would be an impediment to the socioeconomic development of South Sudan.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus