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Literature review and a preliminary study on leishmaniasis to inform community awareness campaigns in Sri Lanka

Authors:

K. S. S. Chandrasiri,

University of Colombo, LK
About K. S. S.
Faculty of Medicine
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S. Chandrasinghe,

University of Colombo, LK
About S.
Faculty of Medicine
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C. Chathuranga,

University of Colombo, LK
About C.
Faculty of Medicine
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D. R. Fernando,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About D. R.
Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture
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I. De Zoysa,

University of Colombo, LK
About I.
Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine
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H. V. Y. D. Siriwardana

University of Colombo, LK
About H. V. Y. D.
Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Background: Accurate knowledge about transmission and potential risk factors of leishmaniasis among residents in endemic areas is imperative. This paper presents a review of the existing literature on leishmaniasis risk factors in Sri Lanka and a preliminary study of the disease related awareness, attitudes and practices in an endemic area.


Methods: Publications on epidemiology of leishmaniasis in Sri Lanka were reviewed. Data were collected using an interviewer administered questionnaire from 120 inhabitants in Dickwella Divisional Secretariat in the District of Matara by a multistage cluster sampling method.


Results: Around 20 publications were reviewed, and potential risk factors identified. In the field survey, 21.7% (n=26/120) were aware of the name “leishmaniasis”. Disease vector was identified by 68.1% (n=64/94) through the shown picture and description. Acne form was known as a type of early leishmanial skin lesion by 81.1% (n=73/90). Potential risk factors such as cracks of house walls (55.8%, n=67/120), damp areas in houses (60.0%, n=72/120), animal burrows (45%, n=54/120) and livestock pens (12.5%, n=15/120) were abundant in this area. Western medical treatment was preferred by 78.9% (n=71/90) as the treatment option. Around 58.9% (n=53/90) of respondents felt that disease prevention is a combined responsibility of community and the government.


Conclusions: Even though, potential environmental risk factors were abundant, this study found poor awareness regarding the salient aspects of leishmaniasis among the participants. They possessed positive attitudes towards curability of the disease, obtaining proper treatment and disease control.

How to Cite: Chandrasiri, K.S.S., Chandrasinghe, S., Chathuranga, C., Fernando, D.R., De Zoysa, I. and Siriwardana, H.V.Y.D., 2019. Literature review and a preliminary study on leishmaniasis to inform community awareness campaigns in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Journal of Infectious Diseases, 9(2), pp.120–128. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljid.v9i2.8258
Published on 21 Oct 2019.
Peer Reviewed

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