Positive Influence of Behavior Change Communication on Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices for Visceral Leishmaniasis/Kala-azar in India
Study from India illustrating the importance of community engagement and health promotion activities within VL elimination programs. "Households that were exposed to community-based BCC activities largely using group and interpersonal communication had better knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to VL, including acceptance of IRS as a preventive measure, than households not exposed".
“Kala-Azar is a Dishonest Disease”: Community Perspectives on Access Barriers to Visceral Leishmaniasis (Kala-Azar) Diagnosis and Care in Southern Gadarif, Sudan
Early diagnosis and treatment is the principal strategy to control visceral leishmaniasis (VL), or kala-azar in East Africa. As VL strikes remote rural, sparsely populated areas, kala-azar care might not be accessed optimally or timely. We conducted a qualitative study to explore access barriers in a longstanding kala-azar endemic area in southern Gadarif, Sudan. Former kala-azar patients or caretakers, community leaders, and health-care providers were purposively sampled and thematic data analysis was used. Our study participants revealed the multitude of difficulties faced when seeking care. The disease is well known in the area, yet misconceptions about causes and transmission persist. The care-seeking itineraries were not always straightforward: “shopping around” for treatments are common, partly linked to difficulties in diagnosing kala-azar. Kala-azar is perceived to be “hiding,” requiring multiple tests and other diseases must be treated first. Negative perceptions on quality of care in the public hospitals prevail, with the unavailability of drugs or staff as the main concern. Delay to seek care remains predominantly linked to economic constraint: albeit treatment is for free, patients have to pay out of pocket for everything else, pushing families further into poverty. Despite increased efforts to tackle the disease over the years, access to quality kala-azar care in this rural Sudanese context remains problematic. The barriers explored in this study are a compelling reminder of the need to boost efforts to address these barriers.
Review looking at the current approaches and challenges in leishmaniasis control.
Combining epidemiology with basic biology of sand flies, parasites, and hosts to inform leishmaniasis transmission dynamics and control
Novel line of research is Leishmaniasis revealing that time can play a large role in host-parasite dynamics and affect severity of Leishmania infections.
Macromolecular biosynthetic parameters and metabolic profile in different life stages of Leishmania braziliensis: Amastigotes as a functionally less active stage
New study suggesting Leishmania parasites are capable of entering a quiescent state for up to seven days or longer.