Health partners working to control kala azar in Malakal

20 Nov 2013

Health partners working to control kala azar in Malakal

20 November 2013 - The number of people reported to be suffering from kala azar disease in Upper Nile State had increased to 79 over the past few days, but partners were working to contain it, according to a hospital director in Malakal.

John Chol Tipo, director of Malakal Teaching Hospital, noted that health partners had assisted in controlling the disease. “The World Health Organization (WHO) and other … partners have supported us with medicines.”

WHO Emergency and Preparedness Officer Emmanuel Timothy Thwol said the agency was working to contain the situation. “WHO has provided medical supplies and testing kits,” he said. “I believe the outbreak … will be contained. I believe in short duration things will go back to normal."

Hospital Director Tipo said most of the kala azar cases had come from counties in Upper Nile and the northern part of Jonglei states.

Kala azar is a parasitic disease spread by sandflies which generally causes skin sores or affects internal organs like the spleen, liver and bone marrow. If left untreated, it can have a fatality rate as high as 100% within two years.