Control and elimination of visceral leishmaniasis (kala-azar)


Understand the spread of visceral leishmaniasis (also known as kala-azar), and gain practical tools to control it in your setting

Control and elimination of visceral leishmaniasis


Watch the trailer for this free online course on the control and elimination of visceral leishmaniasis.


Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), also known as kala-azar is an infectious disease found in many parts of South Asia and East Africa, Southern Europe and South America, placing millions people at risk of infection. It is fatal if untreated but the tools do exist to control and even eliminate its transmission in some endemic regions.

Why this course?

By bringing together all aspects of elimination and control together, this course provides a unique platform to learn about the tools needed for an effective VL control programme. The course contains examples from experts delivering current control and elimination programmes in South Asia and East Africa. The course provides learners unprecedented access to practical tools and insight into understanding the requirements and complexities of such programmes.

What topics will you cover?

Week 1 - Introduction to VL

  • Introduction to the biology, vectors and epidemiology of VL
  • Importance of controlling VL

Week 2 - Clinical management of VL: Diagnosis and treatment

  • Clinical symptoms and different VL diagnostic tools
  • Treatment regimens and anti-leishmanial drugs

Week 3 - Focusing on the vector of VL

  • Sand fly biology and behaviour
  • Vector-parasite interaction
  • Vector control tools
  • Emerging challenges in vector control

Week 4 - Tools that complement clinical management and vector control for control and elimination programmes against VL

  • Surveillance
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Outbreaks and outbreak management
  • Health system strengthening
  • Community education
  • Elimination & sustainability of control

What will you achieve?

The aim of the course is to provide a basic understanding of the biology, epidemiology and clinical control tools of visceral leishmaniasis, so that learners become better equipped to implement and evaluate a visceral leishmaniasis control and elimination programme, taking into account the differences in each country setting.

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Describe the cause of visceral leishmaniasis, the way it is transmitted and the basic epidemiology of the disease.

  • Identify the symptoms and the tools used for the diagnosis and treatment of visceral leishmaniasis, in order to improve case management.

  • Explore the use of vector control methods to prevent bites from infected sand-flies such as using bed-nets and insecticides.

  • Reflect on the realities of implementing a VL control programme and the role of community outreach, disease surveillance and control program evaluation.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for healthcare professionals who are working in the field on visceral leishmaniasis control. It will also be useful for those with an interest in neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and vector control.