India to eliminate Kala-azar by 2020 Know more about this disease: Kala- azar, scientifically known as Visceral leishmaniasis also known as black fever, and Dumdum fever. It is the most severe form of disease known as leishmaniasis which is caused by protozoan parasites and need proper diagnosis and treatment.
Bihar to eradicate kala-azar by 2020: Deputy CM
The ratio of Kala- azar disease in India is greater in the world. The Indian government has come up with a committed that it will abolish the illness by 2020. Here, abolition means that the infection has to be carried down to less than 1 case per 10,000 inhabitants in a slab.
Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi has also said that Bihar is functioning on an objective to eliminate kala-azar from the state by 2020. He also said that the number of kala-azar patients in Bihar had shown an improvement by declining from 23,084 in 2010 to 3,012 patients in 2018.
Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi said, “Only 21 blocks in Saran division are affected with the deadly disease. Around 80 to 90% of kala-azar patients in India are from these 21 blocks of Saran division. It means if kala-azar is eradicated from Bihar, it will be by and large eradicated from India”
Kala- azar: How it is caused?
The Kala- azar is caused by protozoan parasites which travel to the internal organs such as the liver, spleen and bone marrow. It needs proper treatment otherwise it will always result in the death of the diseased person.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the specific worry is that it is also leading to emerging problem of HIV/VL co-infection.
After Malaria, this disease is the second major parasitic killer around the globe. This disease is responsible for infecting almost 200,000 to 400,000 people each year globally.
Kala- azar: Sign and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of Kala- azar comprises of fever, anemia, fatigue, weight loss and extensive swelling of the liver and spleen.
Sometimes even after recovery, kala-azar does not leave its hosts spotless. There are still some traces which get left in the hosts body and after few months or years of treatment a subordinate form of the disease may set in which is known as post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis, or PKDL.
This illness establishes initially as small, measle-like skin grazes on the face, which progressively grows in size and spread over the body. Eventually the grazes may merge to form blemishing, enflamed structures similar to leprosy, and sometimes make happen blindness if they spread to the eyes.
Kala- azar or PKDL: Treatment
PKDL is being cured with a three month duration course of miltefosine tablets. This drug or medicine was previously used to cure Kala Azar in the past scientific information of emerging resistance seemed after ten years of usage. It is also used for the treatment cancer. But these drugs are very hard to use on regular basis as it also have many side effects especially the oral drug and the maximum common side effects are vomiting, gastritis, diarrhoea, toxicity in the kidneys and many more.
Raj Kishore Rai, an IEC officer of Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) also said about drug usage, he said,“It is hard to motivate patients to continue taking the medicines. Only if we keep in touch constantly with them do they comply.”
Not only this, but also these medicines are strictly prohibited to the pregnant ladies as by this drug usage they may disrupt the pregnancy or may cause hereditary deformities.
Dr Ram Shankar, who handles all the Kala Azar patients in Chhapra District Hospital said, “We ask women if they are pregnant before prescribing the medicine. Even after the medicine ends, women cannot become pregnant for the next five months”
Now various steps are taking place in order to reduce the treatment period by making effective medicines as well as regular interval check-up of the patients are also conducting in order to reduce the kala- azar cases in India.
Dr Suman Rijal, director of DNDi Regional Office in Delhi said, “We are trying to simplify the treatment from 12 weeks to 3 weeks that can increase compliance.”