Having achieved the VL elimination target by 2014, KalaCORE started working with partners in Nepal to develop capacity to sustain visceral leishmaniasis (VL) elimination in endemic districts. KalaCORE focused on the development and implementation of outbreak management guidelines, strengthening of effective disease surveillance, early diagnosis and treatment and health education.
VL (or Kala-azar) was a significant public health problem in Nepal. The disease is endemic in 12 districts in the Terai region, bordering the Indian state of Bihar, with an estimated 8.3 million population at risk. KalaCORE targets all endemic districts in the Eastern and Central regions of the country, including Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Saptari, Udayapur, Siraha, Dhanusha, Mahottari, Sarlahi, Rautahat, Bara and Parsa, and newly VL endemic districts, Okhaldhunga and Bhojpur.
In recent years, non-programmatic /non-endemic areas have also reported VL cases. KalaCORE has been assisting the strengthening the health facilities to respond to VL, by supporting a total of 31 health facilities across the country to report VL in a timely manner. Though the number of VL cases has been consistently low since 2014, validation of VL elimination as a public health issue in Nepal is now expected to be achieved in 2021.