Integrated visceral leishmaniasis surveillance system in primary care for children in meshkin-shahr district, north-western Islamic republic of Iran
In 2001 a visceral leishmaniasis (VL) surveillance system was set up for children aged ? 12 years in the primary health system in Meshkin-Shahr district of Ardebil province, north-western Islamic Republic of Iran. All cases with clinical signs and symptoms of VL and positive by the direct agglutination test were referred for physical examination and treatment. The mean annual incidence of VL decreased significantly from 1.88 before (1985-2000) to 0.77 per 1000 child population after the intervention (2001-07). In a control area with no surveillance, it increased from 0.11 to 0.23 per 1000. Early detection of VL using practical serological tests and timely treatment of cases could decrease the mortality and morbidity rates of VL in endemic areas.