A Syrian child cries as she waits to receive treatment for leishmaniasis skin disease at a health centre in al-Karamah, in northern Syria, about 26 kilometers east of Raqqa, on April 16, 2019. / AFP / Delil SOULEIMAN
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Inside a dank clinic in the north of war-torn Syria, a girl covered in scabs wails and tries to wriggle out of her mother's arms to escape a nurse's needle.The illness is endemic to Syria, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says, but has become more prevalent during the eight-year civil war.The number of leishmaniasis cases in Syria doubled from 2010 to 2018 to more than 80,000 patients, WHO says.Younes al-Naeemi, the manager of the Karama health center, says the clinic has received 4,000 cases of leishmaniasis from the town and surrounding villages since April last year.After a peak of almost 6,800 cases in Raqa province last year, WHO says there has been a decline in cases at the start of this year.The international organization has distributed mosquito nets, provided medicine to treat the disease, and supports six health centers in Raqa, including in Karama.
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