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Tabarak Allah hospital - Gedaref, Sudan
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Kala azar, or visceral leishmaniasis, is the second deadliest parasitic disease in the world – only malaria kills more people.

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.


Increasing numbers, unchanging needs

Project Update 20 Aug 2007

The disease of the 'untouchables'

Project Update 10 Aug 2007

A circus of pain and relief - kala azar in Somalia

Project Update 8 May 2007

Deadly kala azar is still forgotten

Press Release 30 Apr 2007
Neglected diseases

Kala azar kills thousands each year

Project Update 10 Nov 2006
Kala azar

In southern Sudan, this tree is the only hospital for miles

Project Update 5 Apr 2006

Better access to treatment for Ethiopian kala azar patients

Project Update 6 Mar 2006

Kala azar complicates HIV/AIDS treatment in Humera

Project Update 28 Oct 2005

Kala azar outbreak in Ethiopia as rainy season begins

Project Update 27 Jun 2005
Kala azar

Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi): matching needs and opportunities

Project Update 2 Jul 2004
South Sudan

Kala-Azar epidemic threatens thousands in South Sudan

Press Release 22 Dec 2003

Heavy rains in northern Sudan leave kala azar project virtually isolated

Project Update 19 Sep 2003
Advanced HIV management in Homa Bay
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MSF Field Research

We produce important research based on our field experience. So far, we have published articles in over 100 peer-reviewed journals. These articles have often changed clinical practice and have been used for humanitarian advocacy. All of these articles can be found on our dedicated Field Research website.

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