Leishmaniasis – Pakistan

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140 people have been affected from leishmania in Saida Shah area of Charmang tehsil in Bajaur tribal district.

Leishmania has affected the entire area and the disease is spreading rapidly, with the number of patients is increasing.

Teams of Health Department have been sent to the affected area. Locals claim the rise is due to a lack of fumigation by the local administration.

Monsoon season could worsen incidence of leishmaniasis as well as malaria and dengue. Compounding the problem, there have been issues with availability of leishmania medication.

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

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.

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

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