Many of the cases occur in remote regions, making it difficult to quantify an accurate burden of the disease. Although transmission does not occur in urban settings, cases are increasingly being identified due to migration from rural to urban centers.
Leishmaniasis is a parasitic infection spread by sandflies. Its most lethal form, visceral leishmaniasis, attacks the internal organs and, if left untreated, is fatal usually within two years. Even when treated, the parasite can reemerge, infect the skin (post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis) and cause disfiguring lesions.
Strategy for Elimination / Eradication / Control
There are five medicines for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis at present: liposomal amphotericin B (AmBisome), pentavalent antimonials, miltefosine, paromomycin and amphotericin B deoxycholate. Treatment regimens vary according to endemic regions. AmBisome is the preferred treatment since it has few associated side effects. However, because the drug must be refrigerated and requires an infusion, new oral drugs are necessary, especially in rural areas.
Control for leishmaniasis is defined as regional elimination in Indian sub-continent.