Background

The target for elimination of Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL), or kala-azar, as a public health problem on the Indian subcontinent is 2017. Whilst some areas have achieved this goal already, others have not, and yet others have seen a recent resurgence of disease incidence. Further information on kala-azar in India can be found in this factsheet.

Aims

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and facilitated by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, SPEAK India brings together researchers and technical experts alike, with an aim to develop a consensus on the additional knowledge required to ensure VL transmission is successfully interrupted and elimination is sustained. 

Actions

Three themes have been identified for future research to occur under:

Surveillance

Health Systems

Transmission

By developing protocols, actions and methodologies, analysing new and existing data, and formulating research questions, SPEAK India intends to facilitate the creation of an improved programme for VL management that ensures rapid diagnosis, treatment and vector control in new or recurring foci to sustain elimination.