Syria: Outbreak of diseases amid war

Leishmaniasis is widely spread in Syria's Hasakah. File photo

ARA News

Hasakah, Syria – Syrians in the northeastern city of Hasakah have lately suffered the outbreak of many diseases, especially with the approach of summer and high temperatures “where many diseases spread when cleanness is neglected”, according to Dr. Haval Issa, who talked to ARA News in Hasakah.

The city’s residents complained about the municipalities’ negligence regarding cleaning the streets and collecting rubbish and moving them away from residential areas, not to mention the increasing numbers of animals living on this rubbish.

“Many diseases, such as Leishmaniasis, came back after we totally got rid of them.  Leishmaniasis is widely spread in Hasakah city environs such as al-Shaddadi, Margada, Tel Tamir and Tel Brak as well as irregular neighbourhoods due to the low health protection and unavailability of insecticides by municipalities,” said Dr. Issa, specialist in gastrointestinal diseases.

“During early morning hours and sunset, the Leishmaniasis leach activates, so we need to get rid of rabid dogs and rats, as they are the main carriers, and not to breed animals as the number of infections by them reached 5000 in 2013 only in Hasakah province, while it was 290 cases in 2006,”   Dr. Issa told ARA News.

Dr. Roni Ahmed, a dermatologist, stated to ARA News that “Leishmaniasis is a skin disease that affects uncovered skin spots, caused by the Leishmaniasis parasites transferred by phlebotomine sand flies ‘Tropica’ from one human being to another or from animal to human being. The incubation period is 15 days to several months.”

“The injury appears like a chancrous pustule, where the middle tissues corrode and may cause distortion, especially in sensitive parts such as the nose and ear, if it was not treated,” said Dr. Ahmed.

According to specialists, there are two methods of treatment; either by using the pentavalent antimony compounds or by cooling using azote or carbonic ice. This medicine is available only by the health ministry where patients are treated in the competent governmental hospitals or by vaccination campaigns in towns and villages.

The Syrian crisis makes this situation worse due to the disinterest with the service sector. The three-year crisis seems to have largely affected the health sector, as diseases started spreading across war-torn areas in the country.


Reporting by: Zaradesht Khalil

Source: ARA News

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