Communicable and Non-communicable diseases – HIV, Malaria, Cancer, Mental Health, etc.

India misses Kala Azar elimination deadline

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Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Kala-Azar, PKDL

Mains level: Elimination of various communicable and non-communicable diseases in India


2017 deadline for elimination of black fever missed

  1. India has missed the 2017 deadline that Finance Minister had announced for elimination of Kala-Azar (black fever) in his Budget speech last year
  2. Endemic blocks have increased from 61 to 68 in 17 districts of Bihar and Jharkhand
  3. KA is a slow progressing indigenous disease caused by a single-celled parasite of the Leishmania family

Elimination criteria

  1. Elimination is defined as reducing the annual incidence of Kala-Azar (KA) to less than 1 case per 10,000 people at the sub-district level

Why increase in cases?

  1. KA vector needs to be eliminated to eliminate Kala Azar
  2. As the endemic blocks have majority of houses made from wood, it is very difficult to eliminate the vector as it dwells in the wooden structure and escapes various measures to kill it
  3. Further, a little-known skin condition called Post Kala Azar Dermal Leishmaniasis (PKDL) — a red flag for transmission of KA — has been growing steadily over the past few years

What can be done to control its spread?

  1. To stop the infection transmission, pucca houses need to be built
  2. Even after treatment of Kala-Azar patients, it is the PKDL cases which become a source for future KA cases

Back2Basics

Kala-Azar (Black fever)

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