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Hansen disease in Mercosur

Hansen disease in Mercosur

Acta Leprologica 10(2): 79-84

In the context of the important changes of a political economic, social and health order upon which the Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay have now embarked in the framework of the commitment undertaken to create instruments for the Common Market of the South America (MERCOSUR), the importance of leprosy for public health in this new region is analysed. In this connection a description is given of the background and reasons which led to the creation of the MERCOSUR Committee for technical cooperation on leprosy, composed of the heads of the national leprosy control programmes of the countries in question, for the purpose of implementing the Protocol of Intention signed by the representatives of the Ministers of member countries, with the object of establishing policies of technical cooperation in activities to control this disease, with a view to attaining the goal proposed by WHO of eliminating leprosy as a public health problem by the year 2000. Using the data contributed by the different programmes, the epidemiological situation existing in this region in December 1995 is outlined, with analysis of certain epidemiological, demographic and operational variables, showing that MERCOSUR has a prevalence of 6.03 per 10,000 population, one of the highest rates in comparison with other WHO regions; a high percentage of cases lost to view (abandons); and a low rate of coverage with multidrug therapy. In this region a total of 33,654 new cases were detected during 1995, of which more than 50% were multibacillary forms, while nearly 10% of them were youngsters of less of 15 years of age. The action carried out jointly among the four countries, the successes achieved and the results to be achieved in the short term are also described.

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Accession: 046211813

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PMID: 9054198

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