Federal Government launches Active Search Strategy for Leprosy Cases in 78 Brazilian municipalities
Brazil is already the first country in the world to offer leprosy diagnostic support tests for health care - Photo: Disclosure/MS
The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Health, launched on Monday (05/09) the Strategy for the Active Search of Leprosy Cases, which will train 5,500 Primary Health Care (PHC) professionals in diagnosis, treatment and use of the rapid test in household contacts of people affected by the disease. The action will take place in 78 priority municipalities, selected according to the high endemic rate, population size and impact in reducing case detection.
The Active Search action is carried out by the Health Surveillance Secretariat (SVS) through the Department of Chronic Conditions and Sexually Transmitted Infections (DCCI), and the Primary Health Care Secretariat. The activities comprise the training of PHC teams for diagnosis and treatment, with 2,000 rapid tests being made available for the training of qualified professionals for their application. Another highlight is the training of Community Health Agents (CHA) to use the Questionnaire of Suspicion in Leprosy - QSH, which guides in the identification of signs and symptoms of the disease and helps to detect early and prevent the emergence of physical disabilities.
Brazil is already the first country in the world to offer leprosy diagnostic support tests for health care. The rapid test will be carried out in Primary Health Care, with availability forecast for the network in the second half of 2022.
According to the Leprosy Epidemiological Bulletin 2022, from the Ministry of Health, between 2011 and 2020, 284,700 new cases of leprosy were diagnosed in Brazil. The overall detection rate of new cases during this period showed a reduction of 51.9%, from 17.65 in 2011 to 8.49 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020.
The secretary of Primary Health Care, Raphael Câmara, drew attention to the care in diagnosing the disease. “It is not easy to diagnose it. It is necessary to do the triage to later arrive at the diagnosis. Often the disease is not discovered or is diagnosed hastily. Therefore, I call on health professionals to call the population about the risks and apparent signs in the body”.
With information from the Ministry of Health.