Two new cases of Kala-azar have been confirmed in Jhapa district, adding to the recurrent instances reported in previous years.

The Health Office in Jhapa has verified that the infections surfaced in Birtamode Municipality-5 and Shibashatakshi Municipality. Both infected individuals were males and sought medical attention after experiencing symptoms. They were subsequently diagnosed with Kala-azar at the Dharan-based BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences.

The Public Health Office in Jhapa have said they have launched proactive measures to raise public awareness about Kala-azar and its preventive measures. Collaborating with local representatives, women’s health volunteers, and other stakeholders, the office is intensifying efforts to identify potential cases within the community.

Kala-azar, caused by the parasite Leishmania donovani and transmitted by sand flies, is a severe disease characterized by prolonged fever, spleen enlargement, anemia, and weight loss. It primarily affects children and young adults and can be fatal if not treated promptly.

Nepal, alongside India and Bangladesh, pledged to eliminate Kala-azar by 2015 through a regional strategy. The plan, structured into preparatory, attack, and consolidation phases, aimed to reduce annual incidence to less than 1 per 10,000 population at the district level by 2015.

Despite this commitment, Nepal now aims for Kala-azar elimination by 2025, facing a significant rise in cases, posing a severe challenge to target achievement. The government provides rK39 kits for free at primary health centers and other facilities for Kala-azar tests.