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Visceral Leishmaniasis outbreak detected in Sheikhpura district, Bihar

A VL outbreak has been detected in Sheikhpura district, Bihar State. Nine cases have been diagnosed in June alone, and fifty since January 2017. Of the fifty patients, forty live in a single community with a population of approximately 150 people. With the exception of two cases, all of the patients belong to two scheduled castes, Majhi and Chamar, highlighting the fact that VL is primarily a disease of poor communities. The Indian government and the World Health Organisation have responded to the outbreak by treating all cases and conducting a detailed survey of the affected communities. 

A detailed report on the outbreak is available from Scroll.in.

Past News

Consortium meeting held in Varanasi, India, 24-25 April, 2017

The second SPEAK India consortium meeting was held in Varanasi on April 24th and 25th, 2017. Both national and international delegates attended to present the research proposals they have been developing based on the three identified workpackages, surveillance, transmission and health systems, since the first SPEAK India meeting, held in Delhi in November, 2016. 

The focus of the meeting was operational research, and identifying areas of synergy between the proposals. To this end, the three workpackage leaders presented each proposal related to their designated field during the morning of April 24th. The afternoon of the 24th was devoted to group work, with both workpackage-specific and cross-disciplinary workshops taking place. During these sessions, consortium members received feedback on their proposals, and identified potential areas of duplication and synergy between the proposals. The meeting's first day was concluded with a summary from nominated rapporteurs on the reactions each proposal had received throughout the day.

On the 25th, workpackage leaders presented their updated proposals, and again invited comments from all consortium members on how they should be edited to reflect operational constraints and realities. The meeting was closed with a short session on SPEAK India's achievements to date, and a summary of the activities that need to be undertaken next to support the VL elimination effort.

A full agenda for the two-day meeting can be downloaded here, and a detailed overview of the meetings can be found here.

Consortium meeting held in New Delhi, India, 3-5 November, 2016

National and international researchers and operational experts met in New Delhi from 3-5 November to launch the SPEAK India consortium. The consortium will aim to develop a post-elimination agenda for visceral leishmaniasis in the Indian subcontinent, specifically addressing the question ‘what is required to sustain visceral leishmaniasis elimination in India?’ 39 national experts and 14 international delegates attended the three day meeting. During the first day, presentations focused on two of the meetings objectives were given:

  • A review the current situation of VL in India (latest surveillance figures from the National Programme and independent partners), and
  • Specific challenges relating to VL elimination including criteria of elimination, surveillance, diagnostics, treatment and management

All presentations are available for download here.Over days two and three, group work activities were held to produce output that fulfilled two additional objectives of the meeting:

  • Define the research questions for timely implementation of multi-disciplinary research projects in India to improve our understanding of VL transmission through disease modelling and strengthen the post-elimination strategy,
  • Formulate a road map to transfer the technology on vector biology, disease modelling and diagnostics from international partners

A full agenda for the meeting can be downloaded here.

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