Geographical Distribution of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis and Its Relationship With Climate Change in Southeastern Morocco

Geographical Distribution of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis and Its Relationship With Climate Change in Southeastern Morocco

Abdelkrim Ben Salem, Ahmed Karmaoui, Souad Ben Salem, Ali Ait Boughrous
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2197-7.ch007
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The current chapter deals with one of the most neglected tropical diseases in Morocco, the cutaneous leishmaniasis. It is based on 10-year research (2010-2017) on the evolution of leishmaniasis taking climate change into account. Epidemiological and climatological data were collected from different administrations. The Geographic Information System (GIS) is chosen for interpolation, space-time analysis of climate data and map creation. The SPSS software was used for statistical analysis and to establish the relationship between Leishmaniasis and climatic conditions. Results show that the maximum number of cases is recorded in 2010 with 4,407 people affected while the low number is recorded in 2014 with 18 cases. Results also show a clear link between climatic factors and the incidence of the disease. The distribution of the disease in the province is influenced by maximum temperature, aridity, and vegetation cover. Additionally, anthropogenic factors play a significant role in explaining the emergence or re-emergence of leishmaniasis in the region.
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Material And Methods

Study Area

The province of Errachidia (Figure 1) covers an area of 42852 km2 and has a population of nearly 418451 people according to the national census of 2014 (RGPH 2015). Geographically, it is demarcated by the province of Midelt, to the north-east by the province of Figuig, to the south and southeast by Algeria and to the west by the two provinces of Tinghir and Zagora.

After the creation of the two new provinces, Midelt and Tinghir, the number of municipalities in the province of Errachidia became 29 municipalities (7 urban centers and 22 rural centers).

Figure 1.

Localization of the study area

Source: (Authors)

The climate of Errachidia province is characterized by apparent variability in temperature (Figure 2) and humidity (semi-desert climate), as well as relatively low rainfall throughout the year. Very high summer temperatures (31.5oC as average to the month of July) and very low temperatures of winter (5oC as average in January). Low rainfall and irregularly distributed over time and space. Most of the territory is less than 100 mm of rain per year (Figure 3). However, the wind speed is above 57.6 km/h in May, June, July, and in August.

Figure 2.

Average annual temperatures in Errachidia province

Source: (Ben Salem, 2014)
Figure 3.

Average annual precipitation in Errachidia province

Source: (Ben Salem, 2014)

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