Syria – Poor infrastructure leads to outbreaks of skin diseases in refugee camps in Northwest Syria.
Location: IDP camp – Idlib – Syria
Source: A24 in Idlib
Restrictions: A24 subscribers
The number of people infected with skin diseases has been evidently increasing in camps for internally displaced people (IDPs) in northwest Syria and mainly in Nour Al-Huda camp in Idlib.
High temperatures, deteriorating infrastructure and polluted water swamps caused by wastewater streams put people mainly children at an increased risk of skin disease.
Ahmed Daadoush, dermatologist in Idlib, told A24 News Agency’s reporter Hussein Al-Zaidi that overpopulated areas were also behind the spread of such diseases like scabies, fungi, leishmaniasis and lice and rash.
For his part, IDP Ahmed Kalaaji also spoke to A24 and called on international organizations to provide necessary treatment to camp’s residents, especially children.
Statistic report by local organizations indicates 400 cases of skin diseases in Idlib camps have been recorded.
There are around 1,489 camps in northwest Syria inhabited by roughly 1.5 million IDPs who left their homes over the course of the Syrian civil war.
-Soundbite (Ahmed Kalaaji Abu Yusef – IDP from the town of Hass):
“We have been displaced here in Deir Hassanfor four years. Skin diseases have spread among children because of unpleasant odors of wastewater. We demand building a sewer line. Facilities here are very poor.”
-Soundbite (Khaled Ghazi Darwish – IDP from Idlib countryside):
“We are displaced from southern countryside of Idlib. We live in camps in northern Syria. Many here are afflicted with skin diseases such as leishmaniasis. What you see here is wastewater, not rain water. We demand repairing the sewer system and roads, in order to protect our children from diseases. Children play in the contaminated water and get afflicted with skin and respiratory infections, especially during the summer.”
-Soundbite (Um Fadi – IDP from the northern countryside of Hama):
“I have two girls afflicted with skin disease. We live in a camp, we struggle to provide treatment for them. We have a child who has been afflicted for more than two months, the only treatment we have been able to provide for him is sterilization.”
-Soundbite (Dr. Ahmed Daadush – Resident of Maarat al-Numan):
“Skin diseases have been spreading widely recently in IDP camps in northern Syria, due to overpopulation and poor waste management. Another issue is the spreading of epidemics and insects because of wastewater, which could result in fast transmission of diseases. The most common diseases are scabies, lice and leishmaniasis, which distresses residents as it causes disfigurement in patients. We call on organizations and supporters to provide treatment for the sick because it prevents them from infecting others.”