Poor sanitary conditions lead to increase in skin disease in Syria

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Boys keep warm in the frosty ground at Za’atari camp. © UNICEF/Helen Pattinson/2013

There has been an increase in cases of leishmaniasis in Syria, according to Dr. Glen Thomas of the World Health Organization, (WHO).

Leishmaniasis is a disease transmitted by the bite of the sand fly and characterized by skin sores.

Dr. Thomas says the disease is spreading because of poor waste and hygiene management caused by the continuing conflict in the country.

The form of the disease which affects the skin is not life-threatening and not a priority disease, says the doctor, but it is a concern.

The symptoms are sores and scars on the body and they come into effect a couple of weeks after the sand flies have transmitted the disease. And we are now helping and trying to get deliveries of treatments to the affected areas. But obviously because of the situation, it is very difficult.

Dr. Thomas says the Aleppo area is where the increase in leishmaniasis has been seen.

Gerry Adams, United Nations

Duration: 56″

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