Indias Black Fever

Topics: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Visceral leishmaniasis, Leishmaniasis Pages: 2 (552 words) Published: April 21, 2012
Black Fever in India
Jennifer Pates
Dr. Merlini

Black Fever is the second largest parasitic killer in the world. This parasite migrates to the internal organs such as the liver, spleen and bone marrow, and if left untreated will usually end up in the death of the person infected. India is the epidemic zone for this disease. This disease alone infects as many as 500,000 people annually and claims as many as 20,000 lives. It is often considered to the parasitic version of the NIV virus. Known medically as visceral leishmaniasis and colloquially as black fever, kala-azar is caused by a parasite transmitted by the pheobozomine sand fly and is now endemic in 48 districts of 4 states in India, putting an estimated population of 165.4 million at risk, according to the Indian government's Directorate of National Vector Borne Disease Control Program. The disease primarily affects the rural poor, particularly the large economic class of landless agricultural laborers.

Years ago a treatment for black fever was found; however, because all those who suffered from black fever were poor, pharmaceutical companies saw no profit and shelved the drug. The iOWH is the main company who is working towards a cure or vaccine for this disease. They resurrected the shelved drug, paromomyocin, proved its efficacy to the Indian government and, with funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, are planning to make it available in the worst-affected parts of India. In tests 94.6% of patients treated with paromomyocin were cured. Paromomycin Intramuscular (IM) Injection was approved on August 31, 2006 for the treatment of black fever and costs an estimated $10-$15 dollars per treatment and takes 21 days. The ultimate goal is to use Paromomycin Injection as a key tool in the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme to eliminate kala azar from India, and shortly thereafter, Bangladesh and Nepal.

I truly feel that this is amazing work. To think that this “cure”...
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