WHO Introduces New Framework to Combat Kala-azar in Eastern Africa

WHO Introduces New Framework to Combat Kala-azar in Eastern Africa

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a new framework to combat kala-azar in Eastern Africa, addressing its causes and improving treatment and prevention efforts.

Understanding Kala-azar

Kala-azar, or visceral leishmaniasis, is a life-threatening parasitic disease spread by sand flies. It primarily affects impoverished populations in remote areas, leading to symptoms like fever, weight loss, and organ enlargement if untreated.

WHO’s New Framework

The WHO’s framework aims to tackle kala-azar through a comprehensive strategy involving early case detection, effective treatment, vector control, community engagement, and health system strengthening.

Components of the Framework

  1. Surveillance Enhancement
    • Early detection of cases.
    • Monitoring disease spread and outbreaks.
  2. Treatment and Care
    • Ensuring prompt and effective treatment for infected individuals.
    • Addressing underlying health issues in affected communities.
  3. Vector Control
    • Intensifying efforts to reduce sand fly populations.
    • Implementing measures to prevent transmission.
  4. Community Engagement
    • Involving local communities in prevention and treatment efforts.
    • Enhancing community awareness and empowerment.
  5. Health System Strengthening
    • Mobilizing resources to improve healthcare infrastructure.
    • Building capacity to sustain disease control efforts.

Impact and Challenges

Eastern Africa has faced recurring kala-azar outbreaks due to factors like conflict, displacement, and climate change. The framework aims to foster collaboration among governments, international partners, and communities to achieve sustainable disease control.

Stakeholder Response

Health experts and humanitarian organizations have cautiously welcomed the WHO’s initiative, highlighting the need for adaptation to local contexts and prompt resource mobilization.


As implementation begins, the WHO commits to supporting countries in Eastern Africa, monitoring progress closely, and aiming for substantial reductions in kala-azar cases and improved health outcomes.

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) with Answers:

  1. What is kala-azar?
    • A) A bacterial infection
    • B) A viral disease
    • C) A parasitic disease
    • D) A fungal infection
    • Answer: C) A parasitic disease
  2. Where is the new WHO framework targeting to combat kala-azar?
    • A) Western Europe
    • B) Eastern Africa
    • C) Southeast Asia
    • D) South America
    • Answer: B) Eastern Africa
  3. What are the primary symptoms of kala-azar?
    • A) Skin rash and joint pain
    • B) Cough and shortness of breath
    • C) Fever, weight loss, and organ enlargement
    • D) Headache and nausea
    • Answer: C) Fever, weight loss, and organ enlargement
  4. Which of the following is NOT a component of the WHO’s new framework against kala-azar?
    • A) Surveillance enhancement
    • B) Vaccine development
    • C) Vector control
    • D) Community engagement
    • Answer: B) Vaccine development
  5. What is one of the main challenges contributing to recurring kala-azar outbreaks in Eastern Africa?
    • A) Economic instability
    • B) Excessive rainfall
    • C) Political stability
    • D) Healthcare access
    • Answer: A) Economic instability