The Ministry of Public Health Clarifies its Position on Rumours Regarding the Spread of "Leishmania" in Akkar
The Information Office of Deputy Prime Minister Health Minister Ghassan Hasbani issued the following statement:
“In response to the news spread by some media on the increase in cases of leishmaniasis (Aleppo button) in Lebanon, in particular in Akkar governorate, The Ministry of Public Health would like to clarify the following:
The highest rate of leishmaniasis cases reported in Lebanon was in 2013 when the Syrian displacement reached its peak and the number of cases amounted to 1033. In 2013, the Ministry of Public Health developed a program to fight against this disease in collaboration with the World Health Organization. This program included 11 treatment centers supervised by trained physicians where medicines were provided for patients free of charge. It contributed to a significant decrease in Syrian cases and prevented the transmission of this disease to the Lebanese citizens. In Akkar governorate in particular, the cases dropped from more than 170 cases monthly in 2013 to less than 18 cases throughout 2017, all among Syrian refugees.
As for the case recently reported by media in Akkar, it was found to be a skin swelling that has nothing to do with leishmaniasis.
We would also like to note that suspected cases should be reported to one of the licensed centers to receive free treatment; these centers are located in North and Akkar Governorates (Abdullah Al Rassi Governmental Hospital), South and Nabatieh (Nabih Berri Governmental Hospital), Beirut and Mount-Lebanon (Rafic Hariri University Hospital), Beqaa and Hermel (Elias Hraoui governmental Hospital).”