New strategy to support the elimination of visceral leishmaniasis

TDR news item
27 May 2011

A new strategy to support the elimination of visceral leishmaniasis from the Indian continent by the year 2015 has been published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases. Developed by staff at TDR, the World Health Organization's Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) department and leaders from India, Nepal and Bangladesh, the strategy includes point of care diagnosis and treatment with a single dose of liposomal amphotericin B combined with active case detection in the villages and vector control.

Training workshops have begun on how to implement this strategy initially in Bangladesh, followed closely by India and Nepal. After that, local medical personnel from the country national programmes will actively seek out patients in the endemic regions and provide point of care diagnosis and treatment. TDR and NTD will then provide support to the national programmes to conduct patient follow-up to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of this approach.

The approach utilizes the main components of TDR values - ownership by researchers and leaders and health care providers in the countries where the health problems exist so that there is early and ongoing involvement and commitment; research to identify the problems and solutions; and training of the local medical personnel so that the programme can be sustained.

For more information, contact Dr Greg Matlashewski