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WHO’s Framework for Kala Azar

  • 15 Jun 2024
  • 1 min read

Source: DTE

Due to the growing health threat of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) (Kala-azar), the World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched a new framework to help eradicate the disease in eastern Africa.

  • The framework outlines five main strategies for guiding VL elimination:
    • Early diagnosis and treatment
    • Integrated vector management
    • Effective surveillance
    • Advocacy, social mobilisation and partnership-building
    • Implementation and operational research
  • Visceral leishmaniasis is a slow-progressing indigenous disease caused by a protozoan parasite of the genus Leishmania.
    • It spreads through the bite of infected female sandflies and can prove to be deadly if not treated timely.
      • VL leads to fever, weight loss, and enlargement of the spleen and liver.
    • It is endemic to 80 countries, however, In 2022, eastern Africa accounted for 73% of global VL caseload, 50% of which occurred in children aged under 15 years.
      • In 2023, Bangladesh became the first country in the world to eradicate VL.
    • In India, Leishmania donovani is the only parasite causing this disease.
      • Recently, India has also successfully achieved its target to eliminate visceral leishmaniasis (initial target year was 2010, but it was extended until 2023).


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