Tabarak Allah hospital - Gedaref, Sudan
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.

Journal article

Clinical Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Treatment of Visceral Leishmaniasis in the Pokot Endemic Area of Uganda and Kenya

8 Jan 2014
Journal article
Journal article

Five-Year Field Results and Long-Term Effectiveness of 20 mg/kg Liposomal Amphotericin B (Ambisome) for Visceral Leishmaniasis in Bihar, India

2 Jan 2014
Journal article
South Sudan

Medical care in South Sudan's Batil camp

Voices from the Field 20 Jun 2013
Kala Azar in Bihar, India
Neglected diseases

Fighting Neglect: Finding ways to manage and control visceral leishmaniasis, human African trypanosomiasis and Chagas disease

Report 11 Jun 2012
Kala Azar in Bihar, India
Neglected diseases

New MSF report highlights how to break cycle of neglect

Press Release 11 Jun 2012
Neglected diseases

Combating tropical diseases: What is still missing

Press Release 30 Jan 2012
Neglected diseases

MSF statement in response to Gilead donation of AmBisome for visceral leishmaniasis

Statement 9 Dec 2011

East African HIV programmes must wake up to visceral leishmaniasis

Press Release 8 Dec 2011

Fighting kala azar in Bihar

Project Update 22 Nov 2011
Kala azar

Kala Azar treatment brings lifelong immunity

Project Update 11 Mar 2011
Kala azar

One year after opening a kala azar center in Sudan

Press Release 7 Mar 2011
Kala azar

Fighting kala azar in southern Sudan

Project Update 10 Feb 2011
Advanced HIV management in Homa Bay
Medical Resource

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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