India Achieves Target: Less than 1 Kala Azar Case per 10,000 People

  • 23 Feb 2024

India recently reported less than one case of Kala Azar per 10,000 people nationwide, marking progress towards eradication.

Key Points

  • Missed Deadlines: India missed previous deadlines for Kala Azar elimination, but recent data shows progress. Sustained efforts are crucial for certification.
  • Challenges in Endemic Blocks: Endemic blocks in Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh posed challenges with some reporting more than one case per 10,000 population.
  • Verification Process: WHO experts will verify data and assess sustainability mechanisms. Certification requires three years of sustained low case counts.
  • Critical Interventions: Rigorous indoor spraying, sealing of mud walls, and ASHA network mobilization were vital interventions. ASHA ensured PKDL patient treatment completion.
  • PKDL Challenge: Post Kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) presents a challenge as a potential parasite reservoir. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial.
  • Improved Diagnosis and Treatment: Availability of quick diagnostic kits and improved treatment regimens has enhanced early diagnosis and patient outcomes.