Leishmaniasis is a major public health problem in the Eastern Mediterranean Region where cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis are both endemic.

Up to 60% of the worldwide burden of cutaneous leishmaniasisis is in the Region. Two forms of leishmaniasis exist – anthroponotic and zoonotic. Anthroponotic tends to occur in densely-populated urban settings, mainly in Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Morocco and the Syrian Arab Republic. Zoonotic leishmaniasis tends to occur in rural settings across the Region.

Visceral leishmaniasis, anthroponotic and zoonotic are both endemic. Anthroponotic visceral leishmaniasis occurs mainly in South Sudan and Sudan representing 12% of the worldwide burden. Zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis occurs across the Mediterranean basin. Iraq represents 85% of cases in the entire Region.