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VL surveillance in India, Interview with Pradeep Das

Some key thoughts by VL expert Dr Pradeep Das in this interview about VL surveillance action in India.

In this step, Dr Pradeep Das, Director of RMRIMS a specialised hospital and research centre for the treatment of VL in one of the most highly endemic areas for VL in the world, talks to us about the importance and types of surveillance currently used within the national VL control program in India. He highlights how VL surveillance approaches might require revision and adaptation in response to how the disease is spreading and control activties are progressing.

One of the approaches used particularly during elimination when cases might decrease, is called the “index approach”, and it involves actively looking for new potential VL cases near a reported case. The selection criterion to distinguish which households to survey and which not, is the proximity to the case (remember that proximity is a known risk factor and VL is a focal disease) – either by specifying a radius around the case, or by specified number of households nearby, also illutrsated in the figure below.

Diagrammatic illustration of “Index case” active case finding. Detecting new VL cases can be on the basis of searching in a specified radius around the VL index case, or a specified number of households nearby the index case.

Dr Das also refers to other sections that we will target in the rest of this week. One of those core themes is the partnership that underlies the Indian national VL control program, as well as need for political/ governmental engagement to strengthen national health systems and build trust between control activities, health professionals and communities of patients affected by VL.

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Control and Elimination of Visceral Leishmaniasis

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