Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia
On-line version ISSN 1806-4841
FACANHA, Mônica Cardoso et al. Leprosy: underreported cases in Fortaleza - Ceará, Brazil. An. Bras. Dermatol. [online]. 2006, vol.81, n.4, pp. 329-333. ISSN 1806-4841. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0365-05962006000400004.
BACKGROUND: To eliminate leprosy as a public health problem in Brazil, the Ministry of Health aims to achieve a prevalence rate of less than 1.0 case/10,000 inhabitants, encouraging diagnosis and treatment of patients and reducing dissemination of the disease. The National Disease Notification System (SINAN) is in charge of verify the elimination plan results. OBJECTIVE: To verify the proportion of leprosy cases diagnosed and reported to SINAN by health centers of the city of Fortaleza, in Ceará, Northeastern region of Brazil. METHODS: Comparison between cases registered in health centers and those reported to the Municipal Secretariat of Health of Fortaleza (HDF) from 2002 to 2004. Cases registered in health care centers but not in SINAN were considered underreported and retrieved. RESULTS: Fifteen (64%) health care centers informed at least one case in the period. From them 411 cases were retrieved (17.5% of total informed). About 342 retrieved cases were reported to the SINAN data base in the health center, but not to the database at the Municipal Health Secretariat. CONCLUSIONS: The surveillance system needs to be improved to prevent lack of information and to show the true frequency of diagnosed cases.
Keywords : Disease notification; Epidemiologic surveillance; Health system; Leprosy.