Centre unveils strategy to tackle kala-azar

The Centre on Tuesday unveiled a kala-azar rapid diagnosis kit as part of its strategy to combat the disease which predominantly strike Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh.

The kit developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) was released by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.

An insecticide, synthetic Pyrethroid, directed specifically at the sand fly, which is known vector source of kala-azar, would also be supplied for spraying on the walls of homes in the endemic regions. The strategy also involves carrying out active searches for people with symptoms of the disease in the 54 affected districts of the four States. Thirty-three districts in Bihar, 11 of West Bengal, four in Jharkhand and six districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh of Bihar are affected by Kala-azar.

Dr. Vardhan said early diagnosis and treatment using a single dose of Liposomal Amphoterecin B administered intravenously would help reduce the human reservoir of infection and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has agreed to supply the drug free.

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