Infectious Diseases

Deadly Outbreak of Visceral Leishmaniasis: A Socio-Political Pathology?

The MSF has reported that the number of cases of visceral leishmaniasis reported from South Sudan, which has been torn by conflict and political strife, has doubled in 2014 (>6700 cases) in comparison to 2013 (2714 cases). In the dusty town of Lankien alone, the MSF has treated 4611 patients of leishmaniasis, which is almost triple the number of cases seen in 2013 (1346 cases).

Social instability, displacement and political volatility has added to the difficulty in managing a disease that is already reeling under a massive shortage of drug production. A single manufacturer produces the drug required for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis and the demand has far outstripped the supply of the drug.

Skeptic Oslerphile. PhD Student in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Past: 1) Public Health Scientist and Program Manager, Translational Global Health Policy Research Cell, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. 2) Scientist, Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases; 3) Senior Research Associate, Public Health Foundation of India. Interests include: Emerging Infections, Public Health, Antimicrobial Resistance, One Health and Zoonoses, Diarrheal Diseases, Medical Education, Medical History, Open Access, Healthcare Social Media and Health2.0. Opinions are my own!

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