Leishmaniasis – Pakistan

Leishmaniasis disease has been reported in the Sra Rogha area of tehsil Sarwakai in South Waziristan tribal district in Pakistan. About 80 people have currently contracted the disease.

Cases are reported in Barond, Mawalay Khan Serai, Chagmalai and Saplatoi areas of Sarwakai tehsil.

Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by parasites and spread by the bite of a certain sandfly. The cutaneous form presents with skin ulcers. Risk factors include poverty, malnutrition, deforestation, and urbanization. Leishmaniasis can be partly prevented by sleeping under nets treated with insecticide and fumigation.

People were not provided mosquito kits and no fumigation was carried out, leading up to this. 

During the last year’s outbreak, as many as 28 thousand leishmaniasis cases were reported from the tribal districts. The area ran out of vaccinations and medications for children suffering from the disease.

Leishmaniasis occurs in some 98 countries and affects about 2 million people yearly, and causes between 20 and 50 thousand deaths.

Photo: Leishmania tropica, one of more than 15 species.

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