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War provides ideal grounds for the outbreak of infectious diseases, and the Syrian war is not an exception to this rule. Following the civil crisis, Syria and refugee camps of neighboring countries witnessed an outbreak of leishmaniasis. We accessed the database of the central leishmaniasis registry in Latakia city and obtained the leishmaniasis data of the period 2008–2016. Our data showed that the years 2013 and 2014 recorded a surge in the recorded number of both cutaneous leishmaniases (CL) and visceral leishmaniasis (VL) cases. This surge coincided with the massive internal displacement waves that struck Latakia governorate during that time. Subsequently, after 2015, the number of recorded CL and VL cases gradually decreased. This drop coincided with a reduced influx of internally displaced persons into Latakia governorate. Our report depicts the effects of the Syrian crisis on the epidemiology of leishmaniasis by outlining the experience of Latakia governorate. Similar results may have occurred in other refugee-hosting Syrian governorates.

Rim Harfouch

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