Several areas in Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have long been affected by a deadly disease- Kala Azar.

Zoologically known as Visceral Leishmaniasis, Kala Azar, a word coined in the late nineteenth century in India, which literally means “black disease”, referring to the greyish or blackish discolouration of the skin during infection, has caused untold miseries to scores of people in different villages of UP, Bihar and Jharkhand.

Aware of it, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya has chaired a high-level meeting with State Governments to review the elimination of Kala-Azar from the country by 2023.

State Governments reiterated their commitment to work together for eliminating this disease. The Centre has assured all support.

Other facts are:

*98.7% decline in Kala Azar cases from 44,533(2007) to 834 (2022)

*632(99.8%) endemic blocks have achieved elimination status

*Only one block (Littipara) of Pakur district, Jharkhand in the endemic category

What people should know is that unlike Corns-virus caused by virus, Kala- Azar is caused by the parasite L. donovani.

It remains one of the major eco-epidemiological hotspots of the world. 

Health records say that the earliest cases of Kala- Azar in India can be traced back to 1824–1825, when an outbreak of fever in Jessore (now in Bangladesh), known as jwar-vikar (“fever disease”), that caused approximately 750 000 deaths over 3 years, has since ascribed to Kala- Azar.

Now, since the Centre in league with the state governments is out to illuminate this old disease from affected areas, has launched an awareness campaign among the hotspots of Kala Azar. 

Also, there is a need to apprise doctors and members of the Indian Medical Association to take play an active role to apprise people how to prevent the spread of Kala - Azar.

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