An Achievement Report on the Years 2001-4 Bacillary Dysentery Prevention & Control Program for Mountainous Rural Areas of Taiwan
2005 Vol.21 NO.9
By the year 2001 there were still many cases of Bacillary dysentery being reported each year in many mountainous rural areas of Taiwan. The incidence of that disease in those particular areas was often ten or even hundreds of times greater than elsewhere or in non-mountainous areas. Therefore, Bacillary dysentery was then commonly recognized as one of the major communicable diseases in the mountainous rural areas and somewhat of a social embarrassment. The Taiwan CDC wanted to act on this problem, so it launched a comprehensive “Four-year Enhanced Bacillary Dysentery Prevention and Control Program Specially Targeted at Selected Mountainous Rural Areas,” which consisted of a host of different measures including improving a health-supporting environment and proceeding with a multi-channel health education campaign, upgrading hygiene awareness of residents and cultivating healthier behaviors, reinforcing the on-the-job training with regard to prevention and control for local healthcare workers, establishing a much tighter disease surveillance system, and improving environmental sanitation and hygienic agricultural behaviors. The objective was to curb the outbreak rate of Bacillary dysentery in those prevalent areas. After four years of intensive joint efforts by all concerned, we were happy to find at the end of 2004 that the annual number of Bacillary dysenteric cases in those targeted rural areas was successfully cut down by 84% from the previous five-year cumulative case number average. At that point, the annual record of total Bacillary cases per one hundred thousand mountainous area residents over the past consecutive eight years was 31.3, 42.3, 51.5, 55.4, 325.8, 79.0, 16.9, and 15.8, which represented a positive trend that clearly indicates Bacillary dysentery in those areas may be well under control by the end of the program.
Key words: Taiwan, mountainous rural areas, Bacillary dysentery, and prevention and control program.