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Kala-azar outbreak is symptomatic of humanitarian crisis facing southern Sudan

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c7276 (Published 17 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c7276
  1. Peter Moszynski
  1. 1Malakal

An outbreak of kala-azar demonstrates the “dire humanitarian crisis” facing southern Sudan, according to the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), as the region heads towards a referendum on independence on 9 January 2011.

The agency says the outbreak is “just one symptom” of the wider medical humanitarian crisis in southern Sudan, which includes an “abysmal lack of healthcare, chronic malnutrition, regular outbreaks of preventable diseases, and insecurity that displaces communities and destroys lives.”

Kala-azar, or visceral leishmaniasis, is a neglected tropical disease carried by sandflies and is endemic in the region. Symptoms include an enlarged spleen, fever, weakness, and wasting. It thrives in poor, remote, and …

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