Disease outbreaks in Syria threaten neighboring countries

The failure to supply vaccinations in war-torn areas in Syria causes the spread of diseases including polio, measles and tuberculosis, disease experts say.

Disease outbreaks in Syria threaten neighboring countries

World Bulletin / News Desk

Health experts warn of disease outbreaks in Syria, as at least 85 children have been diagnosed with polio, despite a massive vaccination campaign in the Middle East. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) launched the largest immunization campaign in November last year, aiming to vaccinate more than 23 million children against polio in Syria and neighboring countries. 

"We are afraid the diseases in Syria will spread to the world if medicine is not provided,'' said disease expert Mohammad Saad.

The failure to supply vaccinations in non-regime controlled areas in Syria is the main reason behind the spread of diseases, according to Saad, who works for a Syrian aid coordination unit in Turkey. 

''We want the World Health Organization and the rest of the world to send medicine to both regime-controlled and non-regime controlled areas," Saad said. 

As thousands of Syrians have fled the three-year-long civil war, others still remaining in the country are facing problems such as finding shelter, nutrition and refuge. These problems cause the spread of diseases, including measles, tuberculosis and typhoid fever, Saad said. 

With help from the Early Warning and Response Network (EWARN), which follows epidemics in non-regime controlled areas, health experts receive disease reports every week from 150 health centers in Syria. 

Saad said measles cases were reported in Syrian cities Idlib and Deir az-Zor because of the failure to implement routine vaccinations on people, who also use contaminated water, in which the poliovirus lives. 

The diseases in Aleppo and Idlib spread to Ar-Raqqah and Deir az-Zor because no measures were taken against insects that carry parasites, according to Saad.

He also said the spread of tuberculosis has increased in Syria because of environmental pollutio

Last Mod: 26 Mart 2014, 17:02
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