India’s kala azar cases declined 98.7%


  • Kala azar cases in India fell to 834 in 2022 from 44,533 in 2007 — a 98.7 per cent decline.

Key Details

  • As many as 632 endemic blocks (99.8 per cent) spread across Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal have received elimination status (less than one case per 10,000). India’s kala azar cases declined 98.7%
  • Visceral leishmaniasis or kala-azar is the most serious form of the disease and as of November 2022, about 89 per cent of the global cases were reported from eight countries: Brazil, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan, WHO noted. India contributes 11.5 per cent of total cases reported globally.
  • Currently, more than 90 per cent of the Kala-azar cases are contributed by Bihar and Jharkhand.

About kala azar

  • After malaria, kala-azar is the deadliest parasitic disease in the world. It is one of the three conditions in the disease group called leishmaniasis caused by the protozoa parasite Leishmania.
  • The parasite is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected female phlebotomine sandfly, a tiny 2-3 mm long insect vector, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • The disease mainly affects poor people in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and is associated with malnutrition and poor housing, population displacement, weak immune system and lack of resources.
  • India is committed to eliminating Kala-azar or Black Fever from the country by 2023.

Source: DTE

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