Leishmaniasis: neglected diseases also by health professionals


  • Richardson Costa Carvalho
  • Carine Rodrigues Pereira
  • Thales Augusto Barçante
  • Joseane Camilla de Castro
  • Ingrid Marciano Alvarenga
  • João Pedro de Sá Pereira
  • Laryssa Chaves Vieira
  • José Cherem
  • Joziana Muniz de Paiva Barçante




primary health care, neglected diseases, health education, leishmaniasis


The increasing number of cases of leishmaniasis, the expansion of transmission areas, and its high impact on public health highlight that there are still many challenges to achieving success in the Surveillance and Control Program of this neglected disease. Additionally, the inherent difficulty in early diagnosis and prompt and accurate therapeutic intervention make leishmaniasis still a health problem that afflicts society. In 2017, the first case of human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) was reported in Lavras, in the southern state of Minas Gerais. Since then, seven more cases have been reported, with two resulting in death. Regarding Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL), it has also been reported in several municipalities in the region. In this context, it is necessary to study new control strategies, as well as optimize existing ones, to prevent the occurrence of new cases of the disease. In light of the above, this study aimed to investigate cases of VL and CL in the area covered by the Regional Health Secretariat (RHS) of Varginha and understand the perception of primary health care professionals (PHCPs) regarding this condition. To meet these objectives, existing data in the RHS of Varginha were analyzed, seeking a better understanding of the existing gaps in the field of leishmaniasis. A total of 115 PHCPs representing all 50 municipalities in the Health Region participated in the study. Participants were questioned about the management of leishmaniasis cases, transmission mode, clinical signs, and biological, and epidemiological aspects of the disease. After analyzing the results, it was possible to perceive a lack of knowledge about the local epidemiological reality, as well as difficulties in identifying prevention and control measures related to reservoirs, the environment, and humans. The conceptual gaps among health professionals reinforce the pressing need to implement continuing education programs, given the indispensable role of these professionals in the success of the control program.


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How to Cite

Carvalho, R. C., Pereira, C. R., Barçante, T. A., de Castro, J. C., Alvarenga, I. M., Pereira, J. P. de S., Vieira, L. C., Cherem, J., & Barçante , J. M. de P. (2023). Leishmaniasis: neglected diseases also by health professionals. OBSERVATÓRIO DE LA ECONOMÍA LATINOAMERICANA, 21(12), 24165–24189. https://doi.org/10.55905/oelv21n12-040




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