Retrospective Epidemiological Study of Malaria from 1999 to 2016 in Khash, Iran: A Region on the Verge of Malaria Elimination

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Assistant Professor, Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Research Center, Resistant Tuberculosis Institute, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran

2 Medical Student, Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Research Center, Resistant Tuberculosis Institute, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran

3 Health Promotion Research Center, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Ph.D., Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Research Center, Resistant Tuberculosis Institute, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran

5 Associate Professor, Ph.D., Health Promotion Research Center, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran

6 Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran

7 M.Sc. of Medical Parasitology, Department of Medical Parasitology, School of Medicine, Ardabil University of Medical Sciences, Ardabil, Iran

8 Assistant Professor, Vector-borne Diseases Research Center, North Khorasan University of Medical Sciences, Bojnurd, Iran

9 Assistant Professor, Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Background:Malaria infection is still one of the most important public health concerns globally. The aim of this study was to evaluate retrospective epidemiological study of malaria in Khash City, Sistan and Baluchestan Province of Iran from 1999 to 2016.
Methods:This was a retrospective study, which collected official data of 26-year trend of malaria in Khash, Sistan and Baluchestan Province of Iran.
Results:The data showed that over 26 years, 5015 cases of malaria were identified in Khash; the highest number of cases was reported in 1995 with 846 patients and the lowest number was in 2016 with one patient. A total of 419 patients were Iranian (52.2%) and 383 patients (47.8%) were non-Iranian including: Afghans (323 patients, 40.3%) and Pakistanis (60 patients, 7.5%).  During 17 years, 279200 blood slides for malaria were prepared in Khash of which 5014 slides were found to be positive. The highest and lowest ABER were in 2003-2004 (63.69) and 2016-2017 (0.30), respectively. Plasmodium vivax was identified as the main and dominant causative agent of disease in all infected patients.
Conclusions: The results revealed a significant decline in malaria incidence rate in Khash. However, based on Iran’s vast borders with malaria endemic countries (Afghanistan and Pakistan) and illegal immigrants coming from these nations to country, the risk of malaria outbreaks must be considered seriously and the control and/or screening programs should be conducted constantly until the complete elimination of the infection.

Keywords


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