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WHO addressing leishmaniasis in high-risk areas of Syrian Arab Republic

WHO addressing leishmaniasis in high-risk areas of the Syrian Arab Republic

23 July 2019 – Leishmaniasis is a neglected disease. It is estimated that every year over 40 000 new cases occur in Idleb, northern Hama and rural Aleppo alone, making this one of the worst-affected areas in the Syrian Arab Republic. It causes immense human suffering.

Prevention and treatment solutions are in hand, and some countries have realized eradication. Despite the urgency and potential for eradication, leishmaniasis control and treatment activities have been structurally underfunded every year.

In 2019, with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), WHO and its partner have implemented one of the first large-scale leishmaniasis prevention, control and treatment projects, reaching approximately 1.25 million people in north-western Syria.

WHO has increased access to appropriate care by improving leishmaniasis knowledge and skills in primary health-care facilities. For the first time in Syria, WHO has introduced thermotherapy machines in specialized leishmaniasis centres to improve treatment options for patients.

Preventative measures include distributing protective bed nets and spraying sandfly-preventing insecticides. Active community engagement and risk communication activities were also integrated into the project.

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WHO delivers health care to displaced people in north-west Syrian Arab Republic

WHO delivers health care to displaced people in north-west Syrian Arab Republic


2 July 2019 – To meet the needs of the recently displaced people in north-west Syrian Arab Republic, the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners have deployed eight mobile clinics since the beginning of May 2019. These mobile clinics are often the only source of health care to people who have been cut off from access to regular health services as a result of the ongoing conflict in the area. On average, each of these mobile clinics provides between 1500 to 1800 health consultations per month and ensures referrals to the closest health facility if further care is needed.

North-west Syrian Arab Republic remains one of the most volatile regions of Syrian Arab Republic and hosts a population of around 4 million, including large numbers of internally displaced people from other parts of the country. In May 2019 alone, as a result of the recent escalation of the conflict in north Hama and south Idleb governorates, it is estimated that an additional 330 000 people were displaced. Most moved towards the north of Idleb governorate, close to the Turkish border. There is a pressing need to reach every person with much needed health care.

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Pakistan: HIV outbreak in Sindh province

Pakistan: HIV outbreak in Sindh province

Pakistan: HIV outbreak in Sindh province

Photo credit: The New Humanitarian

13 June 2019 - Authorities announced the current outbreak of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Larkana, Sindh Province in Pakistan on 25 April 2019. On 1 June 2019, 251 people were screened for HIV, of which 9 people were found to be HIV positive.

In total, 26,041 people have been screened for HIV since the beginning of the outbreak and 751 people have tested positive for HIV.

Of the 751 positive cases, only 324 (43%) are receiving Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) due to insufficient stocks in-country. Current stocks are enough to meet the needs of 240 children until 15 July 2019, of which 231 are already receiving treatment. This means that only 9 more children can be enrolled for treatment using available stocks, leaving many other children who have tested positive without treatment.

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