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Harbinger of Hope for Kala Azar Victims of Bihar

uffering from the disease.

The little sand fly that transmits the disease multiplies in the cow dung that villagers use liberally to plaster their shanties or as cow dung cakes for fuel. The flies survive on the sap in banana and bamboo groves and the decomposed cow dung heaps and make their home in the straw thatches of houses.

"Decent houses will prove hostile to the little sand fly to survive and will help the fight against the disease," Singh told IANS over telephone.

Deaths from Kala Azar in different parts of the state have been reported regularly in local dailies. The state government's claims of providing treatment for Kala Azar still remains on paper.

Many of the worst Kala Azar hit areas are in the north Bihar districts of Vaishali, Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Sitamarhi, Sheohar and East and West Champaran.

In October-November last year, 29 died in Muzaffarpur and 35 in Vaishali due to Kala Azar.

Bihar last faced a Kala Azar epidemic in 1991 when 250,000 cases were reported. In 2000, the numbers were low but started rising from 2003.

The disease occurs in 62 countries, primarily in the developing world. Around 90 percent of world cases are found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sudan and northeast Brazil.

Experts say over 60 percent of the cases in India are found in Bihar alone.

Source-IANS
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