Leishmaniasisn is a parasitic disease spread by sandflies that dates back to the 7th Century. It is a largely neglected disease that has two forms, cutaneous which can cause distressing and disfiguring skin ulcers and scarring and visceral, which affects the liver and spleen and is fatal if left untreated. As a result it is a major public health concern in the Middle East and Southeastern Europe.
In order to improve the surveillance of, detection of, and response to the disease, two CORDS networks, the South Eastern European, SECID and the Middle Eastern, MECIDS are working together to create a One Health virtual group. It will serve as a platform for information exchange among experts. A data collection project will also be implemented to develop a risk index that will estimate risk factors of human exposure to Leishmaniasis in the two regions.
The Virtual Group will convene Leishmaniasis experts from various sectors and countries of the Mediterranean region to share data and intelligence and increase capacities and awareness towards early detection of Leishmaniasis. The Virtual Group has four major objectives:
- Develop a platform for leishmaniasis experts from different sectors and countries;
- Establish an innovative mechanism for knowledge sharing, capacity building and problem solving;
- Improve awareness of Leishmaniasis
- Establish a database of published and unpublished data.
The main component of the Virtual Group will be a website called Leishmaniax, which includes a public and member area. Registered users of the website will have access to topical pages on the site, including those dedicated to research, diagnosis, entomology, control methods, public health, clinical issues, mapping and epidemiology.
Please visit the website here