Cutaneous leishmaniasis among Syrian refugees in Jordan.


World Health Organization, Cairo, Egypt. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : Old World cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is one of the most prevalent vector-borne diseases within the World Health Organization's Eastern Mediterranean Region. The conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic generated large population movements and raised concerns about spreading of CL to countries where Syrians have relocated, including Jordan.
METHODS : A review of electronic and paper-based registries of CL cases in Jordan was conducted to assess burden of disease and associated socio-demographic factors.
RESULTS : Increasing numbers of CL cases have been reported in Jordan between 2010 and 2016 (from 140 to 281), paralleled by significant increases in incidence rate (from 2.09 per 100 000 person-years, 95% CI (1.77-2.47), to 2.87 per 100 000 person-year, 95% CI (2.55-3.22), p = 0.002) and in the proportion of cases who are Syrian (from 8.6%-55.2%, p < 0.001). Syrian refugees have higher odds of presenting with leishmaniasis than Jordanian nationals (adjusted OR 7.1, 95% CI (6.3-8.0), p = 0.000).
CONCLUSIONS : Presence of large numbers of Syrian refugees within Jordan has so far not contributed to increased risk of developing CL for Jordanians, however surveillance, diagnosis and case management for CL should be reinforced to meet the increased burden. Electronic surveillance can help identify priority populations and areas for interventions.


Jordan,Leishmaniasis,Public health surveillance,Refugees,Syria,