65 kala-azar cases in 11 Bengal districts

Tags: State News

Eleven districts of Bengal, mostly in the northern part of the state, have reported at least 65 cases of black fever, also known as 'kala-azar', in the past few weeks.

Important facts 

  • The districts which reported the maximum number of cases include Darjeeling, Malda, Uttar Dinajpur, Dakshin Dinajpur and Kalimpong.

  • Some cases of Kala-azar have also been reported in Birbhum, Bankura, Purulia, Murshidabad districts.

  • "Kala-azar was practically wiped out from West Bengal.

  • It was found that the disease was mostly in people who have spent a lot of time in Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.

  • Symptoms of Kala-azar have also been seen in some people who came from Bangladesh.

What is Kala-azar?

  • It is also known as Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), black fever and Dumdum fever.

  • The disease is the second largest parasite killer in the world after Malaria.

  • It is a Neglected Tropical Disease affecting about 100 countries including India.


  • Fever, weight loss, fatigue, anaemia, and swelling of the liver and spleen.


  • It is caused by protozoan parasites of the Leishmania genus.

  • It migrates to the internal organs such as the liver, spleen and bone marrow.

  • The study warns that kala-azar patients can infect others even after treatment.

National Kala-azar Eradication Program

  • India's National Health Policy, 2002, set a target of eliminating Kala-azar by 2010, which was revised in 2015.

  • Under Kala-azar eradication in India, a target of 1 case per 10,000 population was set at the sub-district level.

  • All the activities related to this program are being implemented through the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program.

  • India signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh and Nepal to eliminate Kala-azar from the South-East Asia region.

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