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The World in Medicine
September 15, 2004

Leishmaniasis Epidemic

JAMA. 2004;292(11):1294. doi:10.1001/jama.292.11.1294-a

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched an emergency initiative to halt an epidemic of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Kabul, Afghanistan. About 67 000 people in Kabul have the parasitic disease—about one third of the world's cases.

Although Afghanistan had effective leishmaniasis control programs in the past, the past 2 decades of conflict have weakened much of the country's health infrastructure. Without immediate action, the agency said, the current epidemic could escalate into an uncontrollable situation.