Community based interventions for the prevention and control of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis : a systematic review

Abstract

We reviewed the evidence on community-based interventions for the prevention and control of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). Community initiatives tailored towards awareness and mobilisation are regarded as a priority area in the Neglected Tropical Disease Roadmap 2021–2030 by the World Health Organization. We searched nine electronic databases for intervention-based studies. Two independent reviewers screened and assessed the articles for methodological quality using predefined criteria. We conducted a meta-analysis using a random effects model, along with narrative synthesis. Thirteen articles were eligible for inclusion, of which 12 were quantitative studies (quasi-experimental with control group and pre-post interventions) and one qualitative study. All articles reported on health education interventions aimed at changing people’s knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) in relation to CL. Participant groups included students, mothers, housewives, volunteer health workers, and residents in general. An increased score was recorded for all outcomes across all interventions: knowledge (SMD: 1.85, 95% CI: 1.23, 2.47), attitudes (SMD: 1.36, 95% CI: 0.56, 2.15), and practices (SMD: 1.73, 95% CI: 0.99, 2.47). Whilst our findings show that educational interventions improved people’s knowledge, attitudes, and practices about CL, we argue that this approach is not sufficient for the prevention and control of this disease. Knowledge does not always translate into action, particularly where other structural barriers exist. Therefore, we recommend the design of more innovative community-based interventions with a broader focus (e.g., stigma, financial barriers, and healthcare access).peer-reviewe

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