VL is endemic in four states in South Sudan: Upper Nile, Unity, Jonglei and Eastern Equatoria, where 2.7 million people are considered to be at risk. The peak season for new kala-azar cases is after the rainy season (October - January).
Since 2009 there have been several serious outbreaks, with significant increases in the case and death rates compared to previous years, and a peak season starting much earlier than usual. Specifically, there have been 7 outbreaks across Upper Nile, Jonglei, and Unity States, with more than 30,000 cases. Annual reported cases have fluctuated between around 2,000 – 12,000 cases over the past 10 years, but many cases remain undiagnosed and unreported.
In South Sudan, KalaCORE together with IMA World Health South Sudan has focused on strengthening services at health facilities, training and mentoring health workers and providing diagnostic test kits and drugs. The team has also dedicated efforts to improve surveillance, the level and quality of reporting and has engaged in raising awareness of and knowledge about VL in affected communities.