Segments in this Video

Kala-Azar: Disease Overview (06:44)


Hindi for "black fever," kala-azar kills up to 200,000 people yearly in parts of India. Treatment for the disease is prohibitively costly. The search is on for an affordable drug to treat this fatal disease.

Research Funding (06:28)

Kala-azar gets little international attention and consequently no funding. Now, funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supports clinical trials of an antibiotic for treatment of the disease. So far, results are promising.

Infected Villages (03:06)

Researchers visit outlying villages to see how they are coping with the disease. One village has been devastated by kala-azar. A traditional treatment, antimony, kills rather than cures victims. Insecticide is effective in killing sand flies, carriers of kala-azar.

Lethal Disease (03:56)

A very sick child in a poor family must get to the hospital for treatment or she will die. Abject poverty in infected villages means families cannot afford treatment or trips to the hospital. Without treatment, victims will die.

Kala-Azar: Success Story (02:50)

A child has fully recovered from kala-azar after antibiotic treatment. With a cheap, safe therapy, the disease could be entirely eliminated.

Credits: "Kala-Azar: Kill or Cure, Series 1" (00:45)

Credits: "Kala-Azar: Kill or Cure, Series 1"

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Kala-Azar: Kill or Cure, Series 1

Part of the Series : Kill or Cure: Series 1
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Kala-azar, the common name for visceral leishmaniasis, is characterized by irregular bouts of fever, substantial weight loss, swelling of the spleen and liver, and anemia. If left untreated it is almost certainly fatal. This program was filmed in the Indian state of Bihar, where 90 percent of the country’s kala-azar cases are located. Forty per cent of these cases are now resistant to the drugs used to treat them, and the general situation regarding anti-kala-azar drugs has been difficult for decades. In Bihar, the standard drug available is toxic and doctors must decide which poses the greater threat to their patients, the disease or its treatment. There are high hopes that a drug now undergoing field trials will provide an affordable and effective treatment for the millions of often desperately poor people who suffer from the disease. 

Length: 26 minutes

Item#: BVL43891

ISBN: 978-1-61733-782-6

Copyright date: ©2004

Closed Captioned

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