Kala Azar Disease soon to be eradicated in India

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Prime Minister recently said that India will completely eradicate Kala Azar disease soon.

What is Kala Azar Disease?

  • Kala Azar or black fever is a disease caused by infection with Leishmania parasites. It is transmitted by female sandfly - Phlebotomus argentipes. It is also known as visceral leishmaniasis or black fever or Dum-Dum fever.
  • Types:
    • Cutaneous leishmaniasis: This is another form of Kala-azar which results in skin lesions – mainly ulcers on the exposed parts of the body, which creates scars and serious disability. The lesions usually are painless but can be painful, particularly if open sores become infected with bacteria. Types of Cutaneous leishmaniasis:
    • Mucosal Leishmaniasis: In this type of Cutaneous leishmaniasis, the infection results from the dissemination of parasites from the skin to the naso-oropharyngeal mucosa.
  • Symptoms
  • Initially, leishmania parasites cause skin sores or ulcers at the site of the bite. If the disease progresses, it attacks the immune system.
  • Kala azar presents after two to eight months with more generalized symptoms including prolonged fever and weakness.
  • Treatment: Treatment of Kala Azar is done through liposomal AmB – this is the drug of choice for immunocompetent patients. There are other treatment options available such as paromomycin, miltefosin and multidrug therapy treatment. 


Q1) When was the kala-azar control program launched?

Concerned with the increasing problem of Kala-azar in the country, the Government of India launched a centrally sponsored Kala-azar Control Programme in the endemic states in 1990-91.The elimination programme in India is spearheaded by the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP).

Source: PM says, soon India will completely eradicate Kala Azar disease