Frequency of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in an Afghan Refugee Camp at Peshawar

Rab Nawaz, Abdul Mateen Khan, Shafi Ullah Khan, Abdul Rauf


Background: Cutaneous Leishmaniasis is common in children and young adults. Although it does not cause death but produces disfiguring of skin. Objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of Leishmaniasis in Bhagbanan Refugees Camp in District Peshawar.

Material & Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in Bhagbanan refugee camp, Peshawar, from November 2006 to January 2007. Sample size was 505, comprising of 229 Afghan refugees and 276 local people, examined for Cutaneous Leishmaniasis.

Results: Out of 229 Afghan refugees 19 (8.29%) and out of 276 local people, 16 (5.79%) were found positive for Cutaneous Leishmaniasis. Statistical analysis revealed no significant difference in the leishmanial infection among Afghan refugees and local population. Data for age wise prevalence of Leishmaniasis showed a high prevalence 10.96% among age group 0-9 years. This was followed by 6.66% in the age group 10-19 years. Slightly higher infection rate was found on face, but the difference between the lesions on the face and extremities was statistically non-significant. Regarding the number of lesions, single lesion was observed in the majority of subjects (9.50%) while 5.62% had 2-3 lesions, 5% had 4-5 lesions and 4% had more than 5 lesions.

Conclusion: Leishmaniasis has attained epidemic proportion in Khyber Pukhtoon Khwa. There is a need to make aware the general public about using bed nets, repellents and cleanliness. Government should provide medical facilities.

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