Publications by authors named "Filippo Curtale"

18 Publications

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District health planning at a time of transition: a critical review and lessons learnt from the implementation of regional planning in Uganda.

Int Health 2016 05;8(3):162-9

Directorate of Planning & Development, Ministry of Health, Kampala, Uganda.

A quarter of a century after the Harare Declaration on Strengthening District Health Systems Based on Primary Health Care (1987) was conceived, district health teams (DHTs) are facing a markedly changed situation. Rapid population growth, urbanization, a rapidly developing private sector, and the increasing role of vertical programs and global initiatives have marginalized the planning process and weakened the entire district health system (DHS). The Ugandan Ministry of Health (MoH) responded to these challenges by beginning a review of district planning: a key action point of the Harare Declaration. The first step was a critical review of relevant literature, then central and district health staff were engaged with to provide their input in developing the new strategy. Through a field experiment started in 2012-13, and still underway, the MoH is developing an innovative regional approach to health planning, which aims to encompass the complexity of the new context of health care provision and coordinate all new actors (private health providers, projects and local government staff from other sectors) operating in the health sector. A strategic revision of the planning process represents an opportunity to develop an appropriate 'Theory of Change', intended as a broader approach of thinking about the entire DHS and the relative role and functions of the DHT. Leadership and stewardship capacities of MoH staff, at central and peripheral level, must be strengthened and supported to achieve the expected changes and results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/inthealth/ihw012DOI Listing
May 2016

Description of two measles outbreaks in the Lazio Region, Italy (2006-2007). Importance of pockets of low vaccine coverage in sustaining the infection.

BMC Infect Dis 2010 Mar 11;10:62. Epub 2010 Mar 11.

Unit of Infecious Diseases and Vaccination, Department of Health Prevention and Promotion, Laziosanita' Agenzia di Sanita' Pubblica, Via Santa Costanza 53, 00198 Roma, Italy.

Background: Despite the launch of the national plan for measles elimination, in Italy, immunization coverage remains suboptimal and outbreaks continue to occur. Two measles outbreaks, occurred in Lazio region during 2006-2007, were investigated to identify sources of infection, transmission routes, and assess operational implications for elimination of the disease.

Methods: Data were obtained from several sources, the routine infectious diseases surveillance system, field epidemiological investigations, and molecular genotyping of virus by the national reference laboratory.

Results: Overall 449 cases were reported, sustained by two different stereotypes overlapping for few months. Serotype D4 was likely imported from Romania by a Roma/Sinti family and subsequently spread to the rest of the population. Serotype B3 was responsible for the second outbreak which started in a secondary school. Pockets of low vaccine coverage individuals (Roma/Sinti communities, high school students) facilitated the reintroduction of serotypes not endemic in Italy and facilitated the measles infection to spread.

Conclusions: Communities with low vaccine coverage represent a more serious public health threat than do sporadic susceptible individuals. The successful elimination of measles will require additional efforts to immunize low vaccine coverage population groups, including hard-to-reach individuals, adolescents, and young adults. An enhanced surveillance systems, which includes viral genotyping to document chains of transmission, is an essential tool for evaluating strategy to control and eliminate measles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2334-10-62DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3161360PMC
March 2010

Comprehensive primary health care, a viable strategy for the elimination of schistosomiasis.

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 2010 Jan 22;104(1):70-2. Epub 2009 Sep 22.

Italian Cooperation (DGCS), Public Health Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Piazzale della Farnesina 1, Roma, Italy.

Large-scale chemotherapy has proved to be an affordable, feasible and effective strategy for the control of schistosomiasis in most endemic countries. However, it is becoming increasingly evident that chemotherapy alone has failed to break the cycle of transmission in high-risk communities, and data from Egypt confirm this. To accelerate the elimination of schistosomiasis will require more complex and integrated control strategies aimed at a permanent improvement in sanitation and living conditions in those few endemic foci where transmission is still occurring. An innovative strategy for the elimination of this disease, endemic in Egypt since the time of the pharaohs, is presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trstmh.2009.08.009DOI Listing
January 2010

Incidence of bacterial meningitis (2001-2005) in Lazio, Italy: the results of a integrated surveillance system.

BMC Infect Dis 2009 Feb 5;9:13. Epub 2009 Feb 5.

Agency for Public Health, Lazio Region, Rome, Italy.

Background: Monitoring the incidence of bacterial meningitis is important to plan and evaluate preventive policies. The study's aim was to estimate the incidence of bacterial meningitis by aetiological agent in the period 2001-2005, in Lazio Italy (5.3 mln inhabitants).

Methods: Data collected from four sources--hospital surveillance of bacterial meningitis, laboratory information system, the mandatory infectious diseases notifications, and hospital information system--were combined into a single archive.

Results: 944 cases were reported, 89% were classified as community acquired. S. pneumoniae was the most frequent aetiological agent in Lazio, followed by N. meningitis. Incidence of H. influenzae decreased during the period. 17% of the cases had an unknown aetiology and 13% unspecified bacteria. The overall incidence was 3.7/100,000. Children under 1 year were most affected (50.3/100,000), followed by 1-4 year olds (12.5/100,000). The percentage of meningitis due to aetiological agents included in the vaccine targets, not considering age, is 31%. Streptococcus spp. was the primary cause of meningitis in the first three months of life. The capture-recapture model estimated underreporting at 17.2% of the overall incidence.

Conclusion: Vaccine policies should be planned and monitored based on these results. The integrated surveillance system allowed us to observe a drop in H. influenzae b meningitis incidence consequent to the implementation of a mass vaccination of newborns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2334-9-13DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2645407PMC
February 2009

Treatment of human fascioliasis with triclabendazole: good news.

Authors:
Filippo Curtale

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 2008 May 17;102(5):508. Epub 2008 Mar 17.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trstmh.2008.02.002DOI Listing
May 2008

Acute hepatitis B 14 years after the implementation of universal vaccination in Italy: areas of improvement and emerging challenges.

Clin Infect Dis 2008 Mar;46(6):868-75

National Centre of Epidemiology, Surveillance and Health Promotion, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.

Background: Italy had intermediate-level endemicity for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1991, vaccination of infants and adolescents became mandatory. We report the impact of universal vaccination 14 years after its beginning.

Methods: We performed a case-control study within a population-based surveillance for acute viral hepatitis. The incidence of acute hepatitis B (AHB) was estimated for the time since 1991, and the association between AHB and the considered risk factors was analyzed for the period 2001-2005.

Results: The incidence of AHB progressively decreased from 1991 to 2005, mainly for persons in the age groups targeted by the universal vaccination campaign: there was a 24-fold and 50-fold decrease in the 15-24-year and 0-14-year age groups, respectively; for the > or =25-year age group, the incidence halved. Owing to the persons' ages, approximately 3% of total AHB cases should have been the target of vaccination campaign. In 2004-2005, foreigners accounted for 14% of total cases and for 57% of persons who should have been targets for vaccination. Missed opportunities for immunization were documented for approximately 50% of patients with AHB who reported cohabitation with HBV carriers and for 70% of those who reported injection drug use. The strongest associations with AHB were found for blood transfusion (adjusted odds ratio [OR(adj)], 8.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.7-26), cohabitation with HBV carriers (OR(adj), 5.3; 95% CI, 3.6-7.7), injection drug use (OR(adj), 3.8; 95% CI, 2.5-5.8), and unsafe sexual practices (OR(adj), 2.8; 95% CI, 1.9-4.2).

Conclusion: Universal vaccination has contributed to a decreasing AHB incidence in Italy, especially by reducing the risk of infection among persons aged 15-24 years. Most infections occur in persons aged > or =25 years in association with injection drug use, unsafe sexual activity, percutaneous treatment, and iatrogenic exposure. Improvement of vaccine coverage in high-risk groups and adherence to infection control measures during surgery and percutaneous treatment are needed. The high risk still associated with blood transfusion needs to be further investigated, with consideration of occult HBV infection in blood donors. The potential spread of HBV infection from the immigrant population deserves adequate health policy prevention programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/528687DOI Listing
March 2008

Use of triclabendazole for treatment of patients co-infected by Fasciola spp. and S. mansoni in Behera Governorate, Egypt.

Parasitol Res 2008 Mar 12;102(4):631-3. Epub 2007 Dec 12.

Italian Cooperation, DGCS, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Roma, Italy.

Praziquantel is still very effective for the treatment of schistosomiasis, but there are rising concerns on the potential risk of developing resistances because of the extensive use of this drug. Triclabendazole, a systemic anthelmintic, is very effective against other trematodes such as Paragonimus spp. and Fasciola spp. It has been reported to be effective in vitro and in experimental animals against Schistosoma mansoni. However, its antischistosomal efficacy in humans has not yet been evaluated. The objective of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of triclabendazole at the dosage currently used for the treatment of human fascioliasis (10mg/kg body weight) in subjects co-infected with S. mansoni and Fasciola spp. The study was carried out in Behera, a highly endemic area for both parasites, by personnel of the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population. Ten subjects (m = 4, f = 6; age, 8-58years), who were infected at the same time by Fasciola spp. and S. mansoni, were enrolled. Six weeks after therapy, seven subjects were still excreting ova of S. mansoni, whereas none was excreting Fasciola spp. ova. At the given dosage, triclabendazole appeared not to be sufficiently effective in the treatment of S. mansoni.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-007-0802-6DOI Listing
March 2008

HIV incidence estimate among non-nationals in Italy.

Eur J Epidemiol 2007 28;22(11):813-7. Epub 2007 Sep 28.

Dipartimento di Malattie Infettive, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, Rome 00161, Italy.

We estimated the incidence of new HIV infections among non-nationals living in Italy for the period 1992-2004, calculated as the number of new diagnoses among legally and illegally residing non-nationals out of the number of new residence permits (which does not include illegal non-nationals). This incidence was compared to that among Italians by calculating the standardized incidence ratio (SIR) by age and gender. There were 17,309 new diagnoses; 19.0% were among non-nationals. The incidence of new diagnoses among non-nationals was 69 cases per 100,000 residence permits, compared to 8.7 per 100,000 population among Italians. The SIR confirmed the marked difference between the two populations, with the incidence being six times higher among non-nationals, compared to Italians. This difference increased over time: in 1992-1994, it was five times higher among non-nationals, compared to Italians, whereas it was eight times higher in 2002-2004. Although the incidence of infection among non-nationals seems to have decreased in the past 10 years, it is still high if compared to that among Italians, suggesting that non-nationals constitute a population subgroup with a high circulation of HIV. Furthermore, HIV is mainly transmitted through the sexual route among non-nationals, prevalently affecting younger persons and women. Access to testing, treatment, and care needs to be facilitated for non-nationals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10654-007-9185-3DOI Listing
February 2008

Incidence of parenterally transmitted acute viral hepatitis among healthcare workers in Italy.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2007 May 12;28(5):629-32. Epub 2007 Apr 12.

National Centre of Epidemiology Surveillance and Health Promotion, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena, 299-00161 Rome, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/513728DOI Listing
May 2007

Acute hepatitis delta virus infection in Italy: incidence and risk factors after the introduction of the universal anti-hepatitis B vaccination campaign.

Clin Infect Dis 2007 Feb 22;44(3):e17-24. Epub 2006 Dec 22.

National Centre of Epidemiology, Surveillance and Health Promotion, Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome, 00162, Italy.

Background: Updates on the incidence of and risk factors for acute hepatitis delta virus infection in Italy, as well as in other countries, are lacking, and the impact of the mandatory anti-hepatitis B vaccination has not been evaluated.

Methods: We performed a case-control study within a population-based surveillance for acute viral hepatitis.

Results: During 1993-2004, 344 cases of acute hepatitis delta virus infection were reported. After a peak in 1993 (2.8 cases per 1 million population), the incidence decreased from 1.7 to 0.5 cases per 1 million population. Coinfections were prevalent. The decrease in incidence particularly affected young adults, and it paralleled the decrease in incidence of acute hepatitis B. In 1993, being an injection drug user (adjusted odds ratio [OR(adj)], 67.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 18.1-254.5) or being a member of a household with a carrier of hepatitis B surface antigen (OR(adj,) 14.8; 95% CI, 3.0-72.9) were the only independent predictors of infection. During 1994-2004, being an injection drug user (OR(adj), 36.8; 95% CI, 20.7-65.4), cohabitation with an injection drug user (OR(adj), 4.2, 95% CI, 1.7-12.3), hospitalization (OR(adj), 3.5; 95% CI, 1.9-6.6), receipt of dental therapy (OR(adj), 2.3; 95% CI, 1.4-3.6), promiscuous sexual activity (OR(adj), 2.2; 95% CI, 1.4-3.6), and receipt of beauty treatment (OR(adj), 2.0; 95% CI, 1.3-3.2) were independently associated with infection.

Conclusions: Incidence of acute hepatitis delta infection is markedly decreasing in Italy. Undergoing invasive medical procedures, engaging in promiscuous sexual activity, and receiving beauty treatments are emerging, in addition to injection drug use, as important risk factors for infection. Further efforts are needed to increase vaccine coverage in high-risk groups and to implement the safety of invasive procedures performed both inside and outside health care facilities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/510433DOI Listing
February 2007

Cost-effectiveness of vaccinating for invasive pneumococcal disease in the elderly in the Lazio region of Italy.

Vaccine 2007 Jan 18;25(3):458-65. Epub 2006 Aug 18.

Laboratory of Economics and Management, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Piazza Martiri della Libertà 33, 56127 Pisa, Italy.

Pneumococcal vaccination among the elderly is currently recommended in several western countries. We estimated the cost-effectiveness of a hypothetical vaccination campaign of 65+ year olds in the Lazio region (Italy). Baseline net costs per event averted and life-year gained, at 2001 prices, were euro 34,681 (95%CI: euro 28,699 to euro 42,929) and euro 23,361, respectively (95%CI: euro 16,419 to euro 38,297). Lower bacteraemic pneumonia incidence and vaccine effectiveness increased the net cost per life-year gained (ICER) to euro 53,899 and euro 74,313, respectively; in the best-case scenario the ICER was euro 4249. The case definition of invasive pneumococcal disease and, consequently, vaccine effectiveness are major uncertainties in countries with low incidence of pneumonia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2006.08.005DOI Listing
January 2007

Human fascioliasis infection: gender differences within school-age children from endemic areas of the Nile Delta, Egypt.

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 2007 Feb 4;101(2):155-60. Epub 2006 Aug 4.

Directorate General for Development Cooperation (DGCS), Ministry of Foreign Affaires, Rome, Italy.

Several studies have reported a higher prevalence of infection for human fascioliasis among girls than among boys. To investigate this aspect further a sufficiently large data set was assembled comprising of 21,477 subjects with 932 positive cases. Subjects were primary school children covered by a control programme implemented by the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population in the Nile Delta from 1988 to 2002. Stool analyses were performed by the Kato-Katz thick smear technique for a quantitative diagnosis on the intensity of infection. Both prevalence and intensity of infection, indirectly measured as mean number of eggs per gram of faeces, were significantly higher among girls than boys. The higher level of infection in girls was consistent across different years and in different survey areas. Co-infection with Schistosoma mansoni was present and associated with fascioliasis, but schistosomiasis was significantly more prevalent among boys. In Egypt rural girls are often involved in household and farm work and are exposed more than boys to infected foci. The lower school attendance for girls in rural areas appears to be an important factor increasing risk of infection. The precise mode of transmission and behavioural risk factors for human infection need to be investigated further to identify those related to gender.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trstmh.2006.05.006DOI Listing
February 2007

Streptococcus pneumoniae in western Europe: serotype distribution and incidence in children less than 2 years old.

Lancet Infect Dis 2006 Jul;6(7):405-10

Cochrane Vaccines Field, Anguillara Sabazia, Rome, Italy.

We did a systematic search and synthesis of evidence on the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease, symptomatic disease, and circulating Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes in western Europe. Using data from studies published between 1992 and 2005 we calculated a weighted mean invasive pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal meningitis incidence rate per 100,000 children aged 2 years or younger within 95% confidence intervals, together with the prevalence of S. pneumoniae serotypes and resistance to penicillin. Invasive pneumococcal disease incidence was 27.03 cases per 100,000 children under 2 years (95% CI 21.85-33.43) [corrected] Heptavalent conjugate vaccine serotypes account for 43.18-75.32% of isolates among people aged under 18 years of age. 11% of isolates in individuals aged under 18 years were penicillin resistant. The incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease appeared consistently lower in western European countries compared with studies from the USA. Thus the use of studies of vaccine effectiveness based on the US population may lead to an overestimation of the benefits of its introduction in Europe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(06)70520-5DOI Listing
July 2006

Control of human fascioliasis by selective chemotherapy: design, cost and effect of the first public health, school-based intervention implemented in endemic areas of the Nile Delta, Egypt.

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 2005 Aug;99(8):599-609

Directorate General for Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affaires, Italian Embassy, Cairo, Egypt.

Human fascioliasis is becoming a serious public health problem with a number of endemic areas identified in different countries. The viability of humans as definitive hosts has been experimentally demonstrated, and there is now a need to control the human infection along with the veterinary infection. In 1998, following reports on high prevalence among children in the Nile Delta, the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population launched the first public health, school-based intervention to control human fascioliasis. An innovative selective treatment approach, with chemotherapy targeted to specific high risk age groups and villages, was adopted. First, high prevalence districts were identified by a regional baseline survey, then screening and selective treatment of all schoolchildren took place in high prevalence villages within those districts. From 1998 to 2002 the programme screened almost 36000 schoolchildren, in six districts, treating 1280 cases of human fascioliasis. Prevalence in the endemic area was reduced from 5.6 to 1.2%. The control intervention is described in detail, including data on cost. The targeted, selective chemotherapy approach was appropriate in addressing low prevalence infection, effective in reducing prevalence rates and transmission of the disease, and in the present situation, more cost-effective than mass distribution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trstmh.2005.03.004DOI Listing
August 2005

Hyperendemic fascioliasis associated with schistosomiasis in villages in the Nile Delta of Egypt.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2003 Oct;69(4):429-37

Departamento de Parasitología, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, Spain.

Coprologic surveys were carried out in villages of the Behera Governorate in the Nile Delta region of Egypt to characterize the epidemiologic features of human fascioliasis caused by Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica in this lowland endemic area by comparison with fascioliasis caused by only F. hepatica in areas hyperendemic for human disease in the Andean highlands of South America. The fascioliasis prevalences detected (range = 5.2-19.0%, mean = 12.8%) are the highest obtained in Egypt. The comparison with previous results suggests that in the Nile Delta, fascioliasis is spreading from an original situation of sporadic human cases in well-known endemic foci for animal disease to an endemic distribution in humans, which may be characterized as a mesoendemic region that includes several hyperendemic areas for human disease. As in Andean countries, a relationship with sex was found, although in Egypt prevalences, but not intensities, appeared to be significantly higher in females. All ages appear to be susceptible to liver fluke infection, with prevalences and intensities being lower before and after school age, a situation that is consistent with that detected in Andean countries, although the peak in the 9-11-year-old age group appears less pronounced in Egypt. The intensities were very high when compared with those found in subjects sporadically infected in areas endemic for animal disease, but relatively low for a hyperendemic situation, although the intensities may not be conclusive because of the transmission seasonality of fascioliasis in the Nile Delta. The marked similarities in the qualitative and quantitative spectrums of protozoans and helminths, multiparasitisms, and associations between liver flukes and other parasitic species suggest physiographic-hydrographic and behavioral-social characteristics similar in all areas hyperendemic for human fascioliasis, which are independent of other factors such as climate, altitude, and cultural or religious features. The significant positive association between liver fluke infection and schistosomiasis mansoni detected in one locality has never been described elsewhere, and must be considered relevant from clinical, pathologic, diagnostic, and therapeutic points of view. Interestingly, the relationships of schistosomiasis prevalences and intensities with sex and age follow patterns similar to those found in fascioliasis.
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October 2003

Distribution of human fascioliasis by age and gender among rural population in the Nile Delta, Egypt.

J Trop Pediatr 2003 10;49(5):264-8

Italian Cooperation, DGCS, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome, Italy.

The number of cases of human fascioliasis reported in Egypt, has increased drastically during the past years. Most of the newly infected cases were children and adolescents. In the year 2000, the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population implemented a cross-sectional survey in four endemic foci of Behera Governorate, in the Nile Delta. The aim of the study was to define prevalence and intensity of human fascioliasis, by age and gender, in order to plan appropriate control measures in endemic areas. The field assessments involved 1331 subjects and utilized the Kato-Katz thick-smear technique, on a double preparation, for quantitative diagnosis of intestinal helminths. A total of 72 positive cases were detected, the majority of them (n = 51, 71 per cent) in subjects below 19 years of age. The highest prevalence and intensity of infection was reported in the 9-11 years age group. Women were more affected then men, but not at a significant level. Primary schoolchildren appeared to be more at risk of contracting the infection and should be considered the main target for control measures. Further studies are needed to identify new ways of infections and possible risk factors responsible for the higher transmission among schoolchildren and women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tropej/49.5.264DOI Listing
October 2003

Performance of Sahli and colour scale methods in diagnosing anaemia among school children in low prevalence areas.

Trop Med Int Health 2003 Jul;8(7):615-8

Directorate General for Development Cooperation, Italian Embassy, Cairo, Egypt.

Our aim was to compare the performance of the Sahli and Colour Scale methods in diagnosing anaemia in school children, where the prevalence of anaemia is low and the haemoglobin level ranges from mild to moderate (8-11 g/dl). The study was conducted in February 2001, in Qena Governorate, Upper Egypt. The haemoglobin level measured by the two methods in each child were compared with the result obtained by using a portable haemoglobin photometer 'HemoCue'. A total of 149 school children were included in the study. Using HemoCue, 17.4% children were anaemic; using the Sahli method (SM), 66.4% children were anaemic; and using the Haemoglobin Colour Scale (HCS) method, 57.7% children were anaemic. Neither method detected any cases of severe anaemia (Hb < 7 g/dl). Both the Sahli and Colour Scale methods are sensitive but have low specificity, giving a high rate of false positive results. Both methods perform perform very similarly in haemoglobin measurement; they fulfil many of the criteria for their use at primary health care level and detect almost all cases of anaemia in a given population, even if the level of anaemia is mild. Standards for collection, handling and disposal of blood samples are guaranteed more easily by the HCS than the SM. Moreover, lay people can easily manage the HCS with success after brief training. We suggest to gradually replace the SM by the HCS method in primary health care (PHC) centres. Where anaemia levels are moderate to mild, the use of SM and HCS as tools to define anaemia prevalence might be limited, as they often label healthy individuals as anaemic. Both methods remain a useful diagnostic tool to confirm the diagnosis of clinically suspected anaemia in areas where the prevalence of anaemia is low and the haemoglobin level ranges from mild to moderate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-3156.2003.01062.xDOI Listing
July 2003

The School Health Programme in Behera: an integrated helminth control programme at Governorate level in Egypt.

Acta Trop 2003 May;86(2-3):295-307

Masters in Health Services Management (MHSM), Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Ministero della Salute, Viale Regina Elena 299, Rome 00161, Italy.

School Health Programmes offer the opportunity to deliver public health interventions to a great number of beneficiaries at a relatively low cost and are seen with growing interest by policy makers in developing countries and the donors' communities. In Egypt a pilot School Health Programme has been implemented for the past 6 years in Behera, the largest and most populous Governorate of the Nile Delta. The Programme integrated additional activities for the control of soil-transmitted helminthiasis, human fascioliasis and anaemia in the National Schistosomiasis Control Programme (NSCP), implemented in Egypt since 1988 by the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP). To facilitate planning and direct actions, a strong monitoring system was also developed, that generated useful information for the schistosomiasis control programme. The practical steps adopted to develop the programme are presented and discussed. Results from three rounds of monitoring (2000, 2001, 2002) are analysed and compared with baseline data conducted in 1996, together with the cost of each activity. On the basis of the experience gained by the Behera School Health Programme a number of operational recommendations are formulated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0001-706x(03)00061-5DOI Listing
May 2003
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