Leishmaniasis in the Middle East
A disfiguring tropical disease that had been contained to Syria has now spread across the Middle East as millions are displaced from the war-torn region.
Cutaneous leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease spread by bites from infected sand flies.
It can lead to severe scarring, often on the face, and regularly goes undiagnosed and untreated.
The disease had been contained to Syria, particularly to regions under ISIS control such as Raqqa, Deir al-Zour and Hasakah.
The civil war has devastated the country’s medical facilities, seen thousands of health workers killed and hospitals destroyed.
Along with the chronic lack of water and bombed out buildings, this created a ripe breeding ground for the sand flies and allowed the disease to thrive.
It had previously been claimed by the Kurdish Red Crescent that the spread of the disease had also been caused by ISIS dumping rotting corpses on the streets.
As more than four million Syrians have fled the region, the disease has now moved into its neighbouring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan.
Cholera in Kenya – Update
The death toll from cholera in Mandera has risen to 13 after two more people died yesterday.
89 patients are still admitted at the county’s referral hospital.
“There is a massive outbreak of the disease in the town. We are receiving patients in the final stages of the disease making it difficult to manage them.” according to Medecins sans Frontieres.
The outbreak was confirmed on April 29th after severe cases of diarrhoea were reported in Mandera town.
At the same time, an outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease, Chikungunya is placing further pressure on already stretched health services in the county. Over 500 patients have been admitted in public hospitals.