Date: Tue 8 Jan 2019
Source: Reliefweb, UN Children's Fund report [edited]
<https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/young-people-rural-hama-syria-join-unicef-s-efforts-raise-awareness-skin>

Years of conflict and damage to the infrastructure in Hama have contributed to creating an environment where the parasitic skin disease Leishmaniasis can spread within the local communities. The disease, known locally as the 'Aleppo Boil', is spread by the bite of infected sand-flies that thrive in the piled-up waste and damaged sewers in the streets of Hama.

UNICEF, with its partners, is helping fight Leishmaniasis through awareness-raising campaigns in 13 of the most affected villages of Hama and its rural villages. Health workers in Hama are training young people on how to lead group discussions and peer-to-peer information sessions about the causes, detection and treatment of Leishmaniasis. Young people were also trained on the behavioural changes necessary to foster an environment unfavourable for the disease.

Recurring displacement of infected children and families coupled with incorrect practices when it comes to livestock keeping have further spread the infection in rural Hama. "I didn't know that dung could be a place for the 'Aleppo Boil' parasite to live," says Amira, a local livestock keeper from Jarjisa in rural Hama who took part in one of the sessions. Amira's husband and 3 children were all infected with Leishmaniasis.

UNICEF through 13 volunteer mobile teams, comprised of health workers and young people, helped raise the awareness of children, families, frontline health workers, community leaders, school teachers and livestock keepers in Hama and the rural outskirts, aiming to put an end to the epidemic.  [Byline: Lina AlQassab]
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[Leishmaniasis has been one of the infections surging during the Syrian civil war and ProMED has reported repeatedly on this emerging infection. CL caused by _L. tropica_ is still endemic in Aleppo but also in Edlib, Lattakia, Tortous, Hama, and Damascus. CL caused by _L. major_ is found in and around Damascus. VL caused by _L. infantum_ is found in the northwest in the provinces of Al Ladhiqiyah, Idlib, and Halab. The reservoirs for _L. tropica_ are humans, and not all cases are treated, and the study by Alvar et al. estimated that the human reservoir is increasing. The reservoirs for _L. major_ are small rodents, and for _L. infantum_, dogs. - ProMED Mod.EP]

[HealthMap/ProMED map available at:
Hama Governorate, Syria: <http://healthmap.org/promed/p/24710>]
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2018 15:50:28 +0100

Beirut, Dec 21, 2018 (AFP) - Air strikes by the US-led coalition killed 13 jihadist fighters and 14 of their relatives Friday in eastern Syria, a war monitor said.   The strikes came two days after US President Donald Trump's decision to pull troops out of Syria raised fears the Islamic State group would use the vacuum to regroup.   "At least 27 people were killed this morning in Al-Shaafa," Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP.

He said eight children were among the 14 civilian victims and added several people were seriously wounded in the strikes.   The raids targeted IS positions in Al-Shaafa, one of the two main villages in the last pocket of territory still controlled by IS in the Euphrates River valley.   Close to 1,000 IS fighters have been killed since Kurdish-led forces, backed by coalition air strikes, launched an operation on that pocket in September.

Trump said he was ordering a withdrawal of the estimated 2,000 US troops in Syria because IS had been defeated, an assessment rubbished by many, including in his own camp.   On Friday, the leadership of the Kurdish force that has spearheaded the fight against IS warned it might have to pull back from the anti-jihadist front if a US withdrawal invites a Turkish military assault against them.   According to the Observatory, 545 members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces were killed battling IS since the start of the operation on September 10.
Thursday 29th November 2018
http://www.emro.who.int/syr/syria-news/who-update-reported-chemical-event-aleppo.html?format=html

29 November 2018 – At around midnight on 24 November 2018, WHO received unconfirmed reports of patients arriving in health facilities in Aleppo with symptoms that might be consistent with exposure to chemical agents. At approximately the same time, the United Nations Department of Safety and Security office in Syria reported unconfirmed information that the Al-Zahraa, Al-Khaldiyyeh and Nile Street areas of Aleppo city had been shelled with rounds of mortar fire that included an unknown type of gas. According to unconfirmed reports, dozens of patients were being admitted to Aleppo’s two public hospitals.

WHO activated its emergency procedures to assist the public health response in Aleppo and immediately distributed the supplies requested by the two public hospitals and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC). WHO has been informed that all patients had been discharged from the hospitals as of 25 November after receiving treatment. According to the Aleppo Directorate of Health, 122 patients were received by the two hospitals.

WHO has been helping the country prepare for the management of chemical events since 2012. The Organization has issued clinical management protocols, trained clinicians on the management of patients who have been exposed to chemical agents, distributed personal protective equipment to hospitals and health care facilities, and raised Syrians’ awareness of how to protect themselves against exposure and when to seek treatment. In Aleppo, WHO has trained 265 clinicians on immediate decontamination, referral, triage and treatment measures.

WHO reiterates the United Nations Secretary-General’s statement that any confirmed use of such weapons, by any party to the conflict and under any circumstances, is abhorrent and a clear violation of international law.
Date: Tue 26 Jun 2018
Source: Reliefweb, a WHO report [edited]
<https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/turkey-health-cluster-bulletin-may-2018>

Highlights Health Cluster
-------------------------
- Mentor Initiative treated 33,000 cases of cutaneous Leishmaniasis and 52 cases of visceral leishmaniasis in 2017 through 135 health facilities throughout Syria.

- The Health Cluster's main finds from multisectoral Rapid Needs Assessment which covered 180 communities (out of 220) from seven sub-districts in Afrin from [3 to 8 May 2018] indicates limited availability of health facilities and medical staff, lack of transportation and the lack of medicines and specialized services.

- The medical referral mechanism implemented in Idleb governorate includes 48 facilities and 14 NGO partners that will be fully operational as a network by end of August. The network, which also includes 9 secondary health care facilities, in total serves a catchment population of 920,000 people. In May [2018], these facilities produced 1469 referrals.

- In northern Syria as of end of May [2018], there are 77 health facilities that are providing MHPSS services, including the active mhGAP doctors who are providing mental health consultations.
======================
[The data are not surprising. As previously reported by ProMED leishmaniasis both visceral and especially cutaneous have resurged all over Syria during the civil war. Control of the reservoir (dogs and small rodents) and the vector (_Phlebotomus_ spp. - sandflies) have ceased. - ProMED Mod.EP]

[HealthMap/ProMED-mail map Idlib, Idlib Governorate, Syria:
<http://healthmap.org/promed/p/29489>]
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2018 02:37:49 +0200

Damascus, June 26, 2018 (AFP) - Syrian state media said early Tuesday that two Israeli missiles struck near Damascus International Airport, without adding any details.   In a report in the early hours of Tuesday, Syria's state news agency said "two Israeli missiles came down near Damascus international airport".

The head of monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, also told AFP that "the Israeli missiles hit arms depots for Hezbollah near the airport".   He said the air strike took place at 1:00 am local time "without causing huge explosions" even though they hit the weapons stores.   The observatory added that the Syrian air defence "failed to intercept the missiles".

Israel has warned of a growing Iranian military presence in neighbouring Syria, which it sees as a threat to its safety.   Its military has been carrying out strikes on Iranian and Iran-affiliated targets in Syria, with a US official saying it was Israeli forces that carried out a deadly strike against an Iraqi paramilitary base in eastern Syria on June 17.   Israeli seized a large swathe of the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it, in a move never recognised by the international community.
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