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Sensitization of Population on TORCH infections in Duhok, Kurdistan Region of Iraq 

Congenital infections affect the new born fetus or newborn infant. They are generally caused by viruses that may be picked up by the baby at any time during the pregnancy up or through the time of delivery. The viruses initially infect the mother who subsequently may pass it in to the baby either directly through the placenta or at the time of delivery as the baby passes through the birth canal.

In addition, birth defect due to some genetic, nutritional and environmental factors is still common among population, mainly neural tube defect due to folic acid deficiency and blood Hemoglobinopathies such as (Sickle cell disease, Thalassemia and Hemophilia) due to inherited genetic.

Pathogens most frequently related to intrauterine infections syphilis. toxoplasmosis, rubella, cytomegalovirus (CMV) and herpes simplex - are commonly grouped under the acronym STORCH. A more complete acronym, CHEAP TORCHES, proposed by Ford-Jones and Kellner in 199514), This includes chicken pox, hepatitis (B, C and E), enterovirus, AIDS and parvovirus. The list of 'other' infections continues to grow with identification of new etiologies, like lymphocytic Choriomeningitis virus and Q fever, and the resurgence of others, like malaria and tuberculosis.

Most congenital infections in the fetus and newborn baby are totally silent and asymptomatic. However, some may be serious and cause profound damage to the body resulting in birth defects or even death. Even if the infection is silent initially. it can quietly and slowly damage the body, causing medical and developmental problems that only show up months or even years later. The most effective measures to prevent those infections are through raising awareness about the routes of transmission and prevention among women in child bearing age and public in general. Through the implementation of this project, WFBH NGO is looking forward to raise host communities knowledge about route of transmission and prevention of most common TOCRH infection and congenital anomalies.

This project started in October 10th, 2018 and it will end on April 10th, 2019 (6 months) funded by GIZ ( Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) targeting directly 2000 women in the reproductive age in the community trained on sensitization on TORCH infections.

Documents below show the process of the project through Videos and Pictures

·         Toxoplasmosis

·         Hepatitis B

Toxoplasmosis disease is a parasitic disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii. Infections with toxoplasmosis usually cause no obvious symptoms in adults. Occasionally, people may have a few weeks or months of mild, flu-like illness such as muscle aches and tender lymph nodes. In a small number of people, eye problems may develop. in those with a weak immune system, severe symptoms such as seizures and poor coordination may occur. If infected during pregnancy, a condition known as congenital toxoplasmosis may affect the child.

Route of transmission: - Toxoplasmosis is usually spread by eating poorly cooked food that contains cysts, exposure to infected cat feces, and from a mother to a child during pregnancy if the mother becomes infected. Rarely, the disease may be spread by blood transfusion. It is not otherwise spread between people. The parasite is known to reproduce sexually only in the cat family However, it can infect most types of warm-blooded animals, including humans. Diagnosis is typically by testing blood for antibodies or by testing amniotic fluid for the parasite's DNA.

Prevention is by properly preparing and cooking food. Pregnant women are also recommended not to clean cat litter boxes, hand washing, well prepared food and meat cooked, using different dash cutting for the meat and vegetable.

Treatment of otherwise healthy people is usually not needed.

During pregnancy, spiramycin or pyrimethamine/sulfadiazine and folinic acid may be used for treatment.

What is hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). The virus interferes with the functions of the liver and causes pathological damage. A small percentage of infected people cannot get rid of the virus and become chronically infected - these people are at higher risk of death from cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.

How do you get hepatitis B?

HBV is spread by contact with blood or body fluids of an infected person - the same way as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, HBV is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV.

The main ways of getting infected with HBV are:

from mother to baby at the birth (perinatal)

from child-to-child

unsafe injections and transfusions

unprotected sexual contact

How can I protect myself?

You can protect yourself against hepatitis B by being vaccinated. The hepatitis B vaccine has an outstanding record of safety and effectiveness, and since 1982, over 1 billion doses have been used worldwide. The vaccine is 98% affective in preventing chronic infections from developing.