Asst Prof Kiran Afshan
Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan
Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL) is a skin infection caused by flagellated protozoan that is transmitted by the bite of a sandfly. In Pakistan, CL is a public health burden which causes disfiguring sores that leads to stigmatization and discrimination. However, exact data on leishmaniasis occurrence in country is not yet available. The present study was aimed to determine the incidence of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis among patients visited at different hospitals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The survey was started from January 2018 to August 2019. The patients belonged to 35 districts of country were suspected as positive cases on the basis of skin abrasions. However, the cases were confirmed by obtaining the sample from skin lesions for thin smear microscopic examination. The total number of CL positive cases recorded in 2018 were 1596 and 1822 positive cases was recorded during January to August, 2019. The infection was found higher in males as compared to females. However, the difference was not significant (P=0.066). The infection rate of CL was found significantly (p=0.0001) different between the months. The higher number of cases was reported for the months of January-March, May and August. This study provided baseline data on leishmaniasis epidemic in the country and indicated need to explore more dynamic disease control and treatment strategies in Pakistan. In addition, international collaborated efforts are needed to control and treat this rapidly growing public health problem.
I am working as Assistant Professor at Department of Animal Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan. I had completed my PhD on parasitic infections; I am interested in opportunities to develop expertise in immunology and vaccinology to control intracellular pathogens.