The state accounts for 80 per cent of Kala-azar cases in India, a potentially fatal disease caused by the bite of sand flies
Bihar will launch the Neglected Tropical Disease Centre (NTDC) next month. This 150-bed facility will begin at Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences (RMRIMS) in Patna.
According to a survey conducted by the institute, around 13 per cent of patients in Bihar suffer from tropical diseases. Tropical diseases prevalent in developing countries include visceral leishmaniasis or kala-azar, lymphatic filariasis that leads to elephantiasis, leprosy, dengue fever, rabies and soil-transmitted helminths.
Bihar alone accounts for 80 per cent of all Kala-azar cases in India. Director of RMRIMS, P K Das, said, “Keeping in view the high prevalence of tropical diseases in the state, it was imperative to start a dedicated centre to control the disease.”
The NTDC will have 120 scientists and will conduct research on an array of tropical diseases, including leprosy, kala-azar and tuberculosis. The institute had, earlier this year, launched a simplified pathological testing kit that used sputum, instead of blood samples, to detect kala-azar.
The institute has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the centre. The prime minister’s office has, however, not confirmed the dates of his visit.
India is a signatory to the London Declaration of 2012 and has joined other member nations at the World Health Assembly this year to adopt a resolution for controlling, eliminating and eradicating 17 identified NTDs.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.