Research to support the elimination of visceral leishmaniasis - 2009 annual report
An outline of progress made in TDR’s ‘Research to support the elimination of visceral leishmaniasis’ research function during 2009
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a fatal disease with an estimated incidence of 500 000 cases per year. Of these, 60% occur in the Indian subcontinent (India, Bangladesh and Nepal), mainly among the poorest population groups living in rural areas. New drugs and diagnostics have created an important new opportunity for improved disease management and even elimination of VL as a public health problem from the Indian subcontinent. In 2005, the health ministers of Bangladesh, India and Nepal signed a Memorandum of Understanding for joint efforts to eliminate VL by the year 2015. To achieve the elimination objectives, substantial progress is needed to increase availability of existing rapid diagnosis and effective therapies and to implement effective vector control.