Three important vector-borne diseases have been discussed previously in this Module: malaria in Study Sessions 5–12 and relapsing fever and typhus in Study Session 36. In this study session, you will learn the causes, modes of transmission, clinical manifestations, prevention and control of four other vector-borne diseases of public health importance in Ethiopia. They are schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis. A better understanding of these diseases will help you to identify patients and refer them quickly to a health centre or hospital for specialist treatment.
You will also learn about the health education messages that you need to communicate to members of your community, so they can reduce their exposure to the vectors of these diseases and apply appropriate prevention measures. As you will see in this study session, prevention of all of these diseases includes controlling the vectors with chemicals and/or environmental management, using personal protective clothing or bed nets to reduce exposure to the vectors, and rapid case detection and referral for treatment. Early treatment prevents serious complications and can save lives, and it also reduces the reservoir of infectious agents in the human population.