The North African country of Morocco is currently home to more than 33.5 million individuals, many of whom fall victim to various food, waterborne and vectorborne diseases. The following list compiles some of the most common diseases in Morocco:
- Hepatitis A interferes with the functioning of the liver and spreads through consumption of food contaminated with fecal matter. Similarly, hepatitis E affects the liver through fecal contamination of drinking water. While these types of diseases are often a result of poor sanitation, vaccines are available for treatment.
- Typhoid fever is another one of several severe and common diseases in Morocco, characterized as a bacterial disease spread through contact with food or water contaminated by fecal matter or sewage.
- Schistosomiasis is a water contact disease caused by the parasitic trematode flatworm Schistosoma. The larval form of the parasite penetrates the skin of people exposed to contaminated water, allowing worms to mature and reproduce in the blood vessels, liver, kidneys and intestines and ultimately manifest as either urinary or intestinal issues.
- Leishmaniasis is an infection caused by Leishmania parasites, spread by sandflies. The vector-borne disease has become increasingly prevalent in Morocco as a major public health threat, affecting nearly two million people annually.
- Malaria is transmitted via the bite of a mosquito. Parasites quickly spread in the liver and attack red blood cells, resulting in flu-like symptoms of fever, chills and, if left untreated, sometimes death. Malaria certainly falls under the list of common diseases in Morocco, as 90 percent of cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease and ranges in its severity. While the disease’s fatality rate is less than 20 percent, some may experience severe hepatitis and hemorrhagic fever.
A large number of deaths over the years due to common diseases in Morocco can be overwhelming and make solutions seem nearly impossible. However, it is important to recognize improvements that have been made in areas of sanitation and medical implementation while still remaining aware of those at risk.
– Mikaela Frigillana