Leishmaniasis on rise in Sindh amid shortage of medicines

LARKANA: Leishmaniasis cases have been growing in whole Sindh province, especially in Upper Sindh but the government hospitals lack stock of necessary drugs to treat this disease.

Professor and Head of Dermatology Department, Benazir Bhutto Medical University (BBMU), Chandka Medical College & Hospital, Prof: Abdul Manan Bhutto has demanded that expensive injection Glucantine may be supplied to the affected patients of Leishmaniasis for their treatment either by themselves or through WHO as this is the only method of treatment of this disease.

At the moment the affected patients are procuring the same injection along with other medicines from their own pocket.

He said that majority of our cases are affected by L. Major (90%) and few number of patients are having L. Tropica (10%) and added, however, the rector is unknown in our region for which we are planning to studies in future in this regard.

Leishmaniasis is one of the neglected diseases to be reported from all the provinces. Pak OneHealth Alliance is collaboration with provincial Health Departments and SouthEast European Center for Surveillance & Control of Infectious Diseases (SECID) is organizing a “Gap Analysis Study” in Pakistan which will help suggest a strategic plan to improve diagnosis, treatment, control and prevention of this contiguous disease.

He said that at the moment system of treatment is Pentavalent Antimonials or Meglumine Antimoniate (Glucantine) with Rifampicin with two weeks follow up.

Routine diagnostic testing is also essential and is made by the patients. 80% of the affected patients receive VL confirmatory tests which are performed by them, which is time-consuming process.

Prof Bhutto said that some cases are already with secondary infections (before treatment) but after the start of treatment there is no chance for secondary infection.



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