India has missed the deadline of December 2017 of eliminating Kala Azar (Black fever or Dum Dum fever). In 2017 budget speech, the Finance Minister had announced for elimination (reducing to less than one case in 10,000) of Kala Azar (black fever or dumdum fever) by 2017. It was also reiterated by the National health policy 2017. In 2014, the government launched the Kala Azar Elimination Programme with support from various international agencies. Efforts to eliminate the disease have been taken through programmes like National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme. However, endemic blocks have increased from 61 to 68 in 17 districts of Bihar and Jharkhand.
Reason for rise in endemic blocks
Endemic blocks mainly have houses made up of wooden material making it difficult to eliminate the vector which dwells in the wooden structures. Secondly, even after treatment of Kala Azar patients, it is the Post Kala Azar Dermal Leishmaniasis cases which become a source for future Kala Azar cases. Some experts suggest that active case findings rather than an actual increase in the disease is the reason behind the increase in number of
Uneven implementation of sand fly control measures like indoor residual spraying in houses in endemic areas is also one the reason for failure to eliminate the disease