According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 700,000 to 1 million new cases of leishmaniasis occur annually, causing 20,000 to 30,000 deaths.
By Rahma Ouled Cherif
Rabat – The governor of the Draa-Tafilalet region in eastern Morocco, Yahdih Bouchaab, chaired a meeting on Saturday to discuss actions to combat the leishmaniasis disease.
Bouchaab stressed that the government should increase its efforts to decrease the number of people infected with the disease.
Between 2004 and 2013, Morocco recorded 41,656 cases of leishmaniasis. In eastern Morocco, Errachidia, which saw a large population increase over the same period, registered 8,728 cases.
Bouchaab called for close coordination between all territorial groups in the region, local authorities, and civil society to survey areas heavily affected by the disease to organize an awareness-raising campaign.
Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease that tends to affect poor people. It is generally associated with malnutrition, population displacement, poor housing, and weak immune system. Most of the disease’ causal factors include perceived lack of financial resources.
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 700,000 to 1 million new cases occur annually, of which 20,000 to 30,000 do not survive the disease.
Bouchaab’s meeting included a presentation on the general framework for joint work on tracking the program to combat leishmaniasis in Errachidia.
The presentation referred to the action plan that focused in particular on the number of exposed and treated cases.
Bouchaab stressed the need to raise awareness about the seriousness of the disease.
The meeting included heads of the territorial groups in Errachidia, members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and representatives of the security services.