To present a method to identify critical areas for selected infectious and parasitic diseases for the purpose of health surveillance and to analyze the association between these critical areas and poverty indicators in Brazil.
The following incidence rates were mapped: dengue, acute Chagas disease, schistosomiasis, Hansen’s disease, hepatitis A, cutaneous leishmaniasis, visceral leishmaniasis, leptospirosis, malaria, and tuberculosis. The analyses were performed for the period from 2010 to 2017 based on a synthetic indicator calculated as the mean of mean incidence coefficients for each disorder, normalized by the mean and standard deviation during the period of analysis. A 2014 population estimate was used. The calculated coefficients were stratified for classification of municipalities into very high, high, medium, low, or very low criticality according to each disorder. Indicators expressing several socioeconomic dimensions and space segregation in Brazilian municipalities were also selected and tested regarding their association with the transmission of the diseases under study.
The indicator showed that 40.5% of Brazilian municipalities had high criticality for the diseases of interest, especially in the North, parts of the Northeast, and Midwest. Indicators “proportion of poverty,” “garbage in surroundings,” and “families headed by women” increased the chance of higher criticality for the diseases. The indicator “adequate sewer system” was a potential protection factor.
The technique used was adequate to guide surveillance actions in the country and allows articulation between local surveillance efforts and other sectors to resolve health problems caused by infectious and parasitic diseases and associated factors.