Understanding vector control sustainability and acceptance
  • Operational research

KalaCORE has teamed up with researchers from the University of Khartoum, Gedaref University and the Blue Nile Health Institute (Sudan) and University of Gondar (Ethiopia) to investigate multiple aspects of vector control in East Africa. 

- Efficacy of different control measures on the vector of VL Phlebotomus orientalis and on transmission of visceral leishmaniasis in East Africa

- The behaviour of the vector that can influence the impact of control measures.

- The acceptability of vector control tools under different cultural and socioeconomic contexts.


Methods to improve access to VL care and diagnosis by vulnerable groups
  • Operational research
Together with partners at Foundation for Research in Health SystemsEpicentre and Mekelle University, KalaCORE is conducting research in India, Bangladesh and Ethiopia to understand how to improve access to VL diagnostics and treatment for vulnerable groups. 

As a first step the research is aiming to describe real or perceived barriers of  access to VL diagnostic services and treatment by vulnerable groups, from the perspective of community and health care providers; followed by investigating the reasons that create such barriers. Outcomes of this research aim at providing recommendations to improve access, with an emphasis on migrants and displaced populations in Ethiopia and pregnant mothers in India and Bangladesh. 

Strengthening VL surveillance and supportive supervision at federal and regional level
  • Improving surveillance

Two KalaCORE surveillance officers have been placed in Amhara and Tigray Regional Health Bureaus and work to strengthen surveillance and outbreak response capacity. Joint assessments are carried out of hotspot areas for VL in these regions in collaboration with VL focal persons within the RHBs. KalaCORE is providing advice on establishing VL diagnostic and treatment services to increase access for the patients. KalaCORE is supporting 5-10 years VL retrospective data collection to improve data.

Staff training and mentoring
  • Training health workers

To support diagnostic practices and clinical case management of patients, three Clinical Mentoring teams (CMT) have been deployed – one in Tigray, one in Amhara, and one covering SNNP, Oromia and Somali regions.  These teams provide on-site coaching to medical and laboratory staff involved in VL care, to ensure quality of case management of VL patients.



Supporting health facilities and laboratories’ readiness to provide quality VL case management in endemic regions
  • Case management

Health Facility Assessments have been completed by KalaCORE in 17 health facilities where the vast majority of VL patients are diagnosed and treated (Amhara, Tigray, Oromia and SNNPR). Results showed that not all facilities were providing good quality care. Support for improving the standard of care in target facilities is ongoing in the following critical areas:

  • Stock management

  • Strengthening laboratory and diagnostic capacity

  • Upgrading services for high numbers of VL patients during the peak season

  • Minor infrastructure work and provision of equipment to ensure quality care while MoH finishes upgrading health facilities.

We are working with the Ethiopian government and the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure coordination between our plans and the broader health sector development plan to ensure service provision in new and/or improved facilities.

Procurement of supplies and support to forecasting
  • Case management

KalaCORE procures the VL treatment drugs, Sodium stibogluconate (SSG) and Paromomycin, as well as rapid diagnostic tests and donates these to the Ethiopian Government. Supplies are transferred to the Ethiopian Government’s Pharmaceutical Fund and Supply Agency (PFSA) who distribute them via established channels. KalaCORE also provides technical assistance for forecasting drug needs and follows up in the field with the teams to ensure no stock ruptures.