Scabies spreads across southern Syria's IDP camps, amid cholera health crisis

Scabies spreads across southern Syria's IDP camps, amid cholera health crisis
2 min read
14 November, 2022
Over 45 cases of scabies have been reported in children camps for displaced persons in the southern Syrian town of Era, as medical sources warn the number of cases is set to rise.
Camps in southern Syria are established on land that lacks sanitation and clean water supplies, according to social activists [Getty]

Scabies has spread in camps for internally displaced people across southwestern Syria, The New Arab’s Arabic-language service reported.

Over 45 cases of the contagious disease have been reported in children in camps in the town of Era, in As-Suweidah province, an anonymous medical source told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

The number of cases is likely to rise due to the rapid spread of the disease inside and outside of the camps as they lack the facilities to prevent its spread or treat those infected, the source said.

Camps in Era lack sanitation and clean water supplies which contribute to the spread of the disease, social activist and town resident M Hamza told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

Another resident explained that humanitarian organisations and medical staff provided assistance to the camps after a 10 percent increase in cases among children, stating such action is not enough, particularly with the continued absence of water.

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They also explained that when international organisations visit the camps, they are often accompanied by the regime's security forces with intimidated residents often downplaying their suffering and needs.

Doctors have warned the public about the dangers of the spread of diseases and epidemics in camps across Syria, particularly as children mix in public schools and workers interact with each other.

Some have called for permanent basic healthcare services to be set up and deal with such issues, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

A wave of cholera cases has also spread across northern Syria, causing at least 81 deaths and 24,000 suspected cases, according to the World Health Organisation.

The wave was first linked to water contamination and a severe water shortage in the area.

Around 250 displaced families live in camps in Era, and around 300 families - dozens of whom are also displaced - live in rented houses nearby.

Many Syrians were displaced to camps during the ongoing 11-year civil war, to seek safety from the regime and Russian bombardments and detention from pro-Assad forces.