Kala Azar Alleviation Initiative
The Foundation has pinpointed infectious orphan diseases as another area where catalytic impact can be made. The first orphan disease undertaken by the Foundation is Kala Azar, also known as Visceral Leishmaniasis. Kala Azar is a slow developing native disease caused by parasites that are spread by a sand fly. The disease is endemic in eastern India, Bangladesh, and Nepal with approximately 20,000 cases reported worldwide each year. Kala Azar is fatal if left untreated; however, there are simple treatment options available. By providing patients access to a single dose of Ambisome, the Foundation hopes to reach at risk populations, especially children, infected by the disease and eventually see it eradicated.
Since the project has launched, we have treated over 1200 patients. The Government of India has also recently made a commitment to eradicate Kala Azar by providing Ambisome free of cost to all government hospitals in Bihar, where 80% of all Kala Azar cases occur.