By: Tadele Ambelu

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is the deadliest parasitic killer diesis next to malaria in Eastern Africa. In the region, fifty to ninety thousand cases were recorded annually. The highest number of cases was recorded in the region. Specifically, people in resource-limited settings, arid and semi-arid areas, Prof. Ahmed Musa, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal Investigator of the clinical trial at the University of Khartoum, said.
As to the press release report, most of them are children under eighteen years in Ethiopia who are severely injured due to low treatment centers.

As he exclusively briefed in the press release report, a new treatment with the combination of miltefosine, leishmaniasis, and paromomycin, an injectable antibiotic, is essential in the region.
The former treatment uses paromomycin, an injectable antibiotic used in combination with sodium stibogluconate, administered either through injection or intravenously in Africa. The patients suffer from rare but heavy side effects, such as cardio toxicity, hepatotoxicity, and pancreatitis associated with sodium stibogluconate, Said Prof. Ahmed Musa. Its treatment is also difficult to administer because patients endure two painful injections every day for seventeen days.
According to an AfriKADIA study, under the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) Consortium in 2017 in Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Uganda found, a new treatment with the combination of miltefosine (MF), the only oral drug available for Visceral Leishmaniasis treatment, and paromomycin (PM), an injectable antibiotic.
The current study result showsthat thetreatment significantly impacts the patients’ socio-economic conditions because they are forced to stay in the hospital for extended periods and miss work or school. However, it avoids suffering from rare, heavy side effects and shortens to fourteen vaccine dates.
The new treatment is ninety-one percent effective. It lowers the risk of post-kala-azar dermal Visceral Leishmaniasis (PKDL) by four percent in sudan and Ethiopia from twenty point nine percent treated from the treatment combination of Sodium Stibogluconate (SSG) and Paromomycin (PM), Prof. Musa Ahmed, Said.

Photo by: Lameck Ododo

Dr. Monique Wasunna, DNDi Eastern Africa Regional Director in Nairobi, Kenya, added that the new combination treatment signifies a historic step forward for dreadfully neglected patient populations in the region.
Dr. Monique further explained that efforts have begun to share the study results with stakeholders in the region to facilitate the adoption of the new combination to access patients get threatened.
In the press release, he briefed that “We are delighted with the positive results from this clinical trial, and it will contribute to our strategic goal of reducing morbidity due to Visceral Leishmaniasis by 60% in 2025,” Dr. Patrick Amoth, Director General for Health at the Ministry of Health in Kenya, said.
Dr.FabianaAlves, Director of Neglected Tropical Diseasesleishmaniasis and mycetoma Cluster at DNDi, promiseson his side that, since the journey is not over yet, DNDi and its partners will be beginning clinical trials for new, promising, alloral treatments for leishmaniasis soon.
Henceforth, regional collaboration should be made to radically transform treatments for Visceral Leishmaniasis in the entire region.