Pakistan has faced a number of significant healthcare challenges over the past decade. In 2000, one of these events - a deadly epidemic of Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) - struck Pakistan. The people of Pakistan are at a very high risk of acquiring CCHF, due to a number of factors which emerge from a scoping review of the literature. First, the underdeveloped healthcare system of the country is currently not prepared to cope with challenges of this nature. Healthcare professionals and medical institutes are not sufficiently equipped to properly diagnose, manage and prevent CCHF. Second, a large percentage of the general public is unaware of the spread and control of the vector. The agricultural sector of Pakistan is vast and thus many people are involved in animal husbandry and the handling of livestock which can lead to the transmission of the CCHF virus. Even in urban areas the risk of transmission is significantly higher around the time of Eid-ul-Azha, when Muslims slaughter animals. Finally, the political upheavals faced by the country have also increased Pakistan’s vulnerability because a large number of refugees from Afghanistan, a CCHF endemic country, have migrated to Pakistan as a result of the Afghan war. Most of the refugees and their animals settle in Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, which consequently have a higher prevalence of CCHF. This scoping review of the literature highlights the potential causes of high risk CCHF and draws conclusions and makes recommendations that policy-makers in Pakistan may wish to consider in-order to improve on the current situation.
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- The reasons why Pakistan might be at high risk of Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever epidemic; a scoping review of the literature
Muhammad Rehan Sarwar
- BioMed Central
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