An Epidemiological study of kala- azar in Welfare hospital for children in Baghdad


Abstract:Background: Leishmaniasis is a major health problem worldwide. It is also a particular problem in the rural areas of Iraq Objective: To determine an epidemiological feature's of group of Kala-azar patients attending welfare hospital for children in BaghdadMaterials & Method: A retrospective study was conducted in the Welfare hospital for children, starting on October 1st 2004 and ending on April 2005. The study included all children with amastigote-positive smears in bone marrow or in splenic aspirates, or a positive Leishmania sp immunofluorescence assay. Descriptive statistics included the use of frequencies and relative frequencies. The chi-square statistical test was used to test for associations between variables with results being considered as statistically significant when the p value was <0.05.Results: The prevalence of Kala – azar was 1.02% of total patients admitted in the Welfare hospital during the period of the study. There was a distinct male preponderance with a male:female ratio of 1:5 :1. The age range of patients at the time of the study was 1- 9 years. Significantly most of cases (more than 65%) were from rural area compared with 34.3% from urban area. The percentage of males in the sample were more than females in the age group (2 -3, 6-7) years while the percentage of females were higher than males in the age group (<1 year). The highest percentage of cases occurs in February (24.07%) and lowest percentage in April (0%). The commonest presenting features were fever (55.6%), paller (27.8%), and splenomegally (16.6%). Of hosptilized patients, 66.7% stayed in the hospital for one month , 25.9% for two months and 7.3% for three months. The main outcomes were 27.8% of the patients developed complications, 65.5% alive, and only 6.4% were died.