KEY FACTS: LEISHMANIASIS

Leishmaniasis

  • There are three main types of leishmaniasis – visceral (often known as kala-azar and the most serious form of the disease), cutaneous (the most common), and mucocutaneous.

  • Humans can become infected with leishmaniasis if bitten by female sandflies carrying a protozoa parasite of the genus leishmania.

  • The disease affects the poorest people on the planet, and is associated with malnutrition, population displacement, poor housing, weak immune system and lack of resources.

  • During the past 10 years, the disease has spread considerably.

  • Leishmaniasis is linked to environmental changes such as deforestation, building of dams, irrigation schemes and urbanization.

  • An estimated 1.3 million new cases and estimated 20 000 to 30 000 deaths occur annually.

(http://www.who.int)