The World Health Assembly Resolution on the "Control of Leishmaniasis"

Recognizing the huge impact of the disease, the World Health Assembly in 2007 adopted a resolution on control of leishmaniasis (WHA60.13), urging Member States in which leishmaniasis is a substantial public health problem to undertake actions to deal with the major factors underlying the failure to control the disease. The resolution also requested the WHO Director-General to take actions at different levels to reduce the burden of the disease, namely:

  • to raise awareness of the global burden of leishmaniasis, and to promote equitable access to health services for prevention and disease management;
  • to draft guidelines on prevention and management of leishmaniasis, with emphasis on updating the report of WHO’s Expert Committee on Leishmaniasis, with a view to elaborating regional plans and fostering the establishment of regional groups of experts;
  • to strengthen collaborative efforts among multisectoral stakeholders, interested organizations and other bodies in order to support the development and implementation of leishmaniasis control programmes;
  • to frame a policy for leishmaniasis control, with the technical support of WHO’s Expert Advisory Panel on Leishmaniasis;
  • to promote research pertaining to leishmaniasis control, including in the areas of safe, effective and affordable vaccines, diagnostic tools and medicines with less toxicity, and dissemination of the findings of that research, notably through the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases;
  • to monitor progress in the control of leishmaniasis in collaboration with international partners, WHO regional offices and Member States affected by leishmaniasis;
  • to promote action with the major laboratories in order to reduce the costs of medicines to developing countries;
  • to promote and support:
    • evaluation of the efficacy of new medicines;
    • evaluation of dosage and length of treatment for existing medicines;
    • standardization of diagnostic reagents, in particular for visceral leishmaniasis;
  • to facilitate improved coordination among multilateral institutions and international donors concerned with leishmaniasis.