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It is estimated that there are more than 60 million people worldwide who are currently refugees or internally displaced persons (UNHCR, 2007). These people…
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Download file to see previous pages In addition, mass migration may lead to epidemics of communicable diseases particularly when populations residing in areas of low disease endemicity pass through or into areas of high endemicity during the course of their migration. Examples of epidemics of malaria among refugees with low levels of acquired malaria immunity include Afghan refugees in Pakistan (1980) and Bhutanese refugees in Nepal (1992) (Noji, 1997).
The primary focus of communicable disease surveillance is given to early detection of epidemics with the potential to increase rates of morbidity and mortality. One of the main problems encountered in this field is a lack of a common terminology. There has been a general push among those who work within organizations engaged in communicable disease surveillance to develop a common case definition to be used by all in order to provide the necessary consistency in reporting worldwide.
There are a number of communicable disease control activities that have been developed including vector control, screening of food handlers, water supply testing, and immunization coverage all before any disease is discovered. Other activities such as screening of contact cases, community mobilization, epidemic source identification and the equipping of laboratories and reagents can be used as a means of containing disease. In all of these, training must be provided well ahead of time and implemented in a timely way among the refugees and internally displaced people’s semi-long-term settlements.
Perhaps this hasn’t yet been accomplished because the issue is much more daunting than the simple statement of the problem. Case definitions are required for each health event / disease / syndrome. Contributing to the solution, WHO (World Health Organization) has developed and recommended some standard case definitions, but to be ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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