A neglected tropical disease, kala azar is caused by a parasite, spread to humans through the bite of infected female sand flies. It attacks the immune system and is almost always fatal if not treated.
Also known as visceral leishmaniasis, kala azar is the most serious form of leishmaniasis and is endemic in 76 countries, with hundreds of millions at risk of infection. There are between 50,000 and 90,000 new cases a year, about 90 per cent of which occur in Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan. Between 1989 and 2020, MSF teams treated nearly 150,000 people for kala azar; over a third in South Sudan.
Diagnosis and treatment of the disease, especially of the variety found in eastern Africa, can be complex and painful.
No more neglected diseases, no more neglected patients
Overcoming neglect: Finding ways to manage and control NTDs
Diagnosing, treating and researching HIV-kala azar co-infection in Ethiopia
Five epidemics to watch
Tackling a deadly outbreak of tropical disease
Increased access to diagnosis and treatment of HIV-VL co-infection is imperative for eliminating kala azar
MSF supports the introduction and roll-out of single-dose treatment for kala azar in Bihar State
Visceral Leishmaniasis and HIV Co-infection in Bihar, India: Long-term Effectiveness and Treatment Outcomes with Liposomal Amphotericin B (AmBisome)
Visceral Leishmaniasis as an AIDS Defining Condition: Towards Consistency across WHO Guidelines
Hypokalaemia-Induced Rhabdomyolysis after Treatment of Post-Kala-azar Dermal Leishmaniasis (PKDL) with High-Dose AmBisome in Bangladesh - A Case Report
Better detection, diagnosis and treatment needed for neglected complication of kala azar in Bihar
Access to kala azar treatment in public healthcare system needs to be scaled up
MSF Field Research
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