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Environmental Change and Kala-Azar with Particular Reference to Bangladesh

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Kala Azar in South Asia

Abstract

Global environmental change is expected to have significant impacts on public health. Low income countries will be disproportionately affected by such change even though their contribution to global greenhouse gas emission is insignificant relative to developed countries. Visceral leishmaniasis, a vector-borne disease known as kala-azar on the Indian subcontinent , causes a significant burden of mortality and morbidity every year across the world. Approximately 200 million people are said to be at risk of kala-azar in the Indian subcontinent with 25,000–40,000 cases reported per year. This chapter examines past and present kala-azar incidences in Bangladesh and explores the future vulnerability of the country and its inhabitants under conditions of environmental change. Using published research and 2014 reported kala-azar cases from the Disease Control Unit of the Directorate General of Health Services, this study also attempts to present the epidemiology of kala-azar in Bangladesh. It shows that global environmental changes have the potential to cause deterioration to the social and ecological systems of the country. As a result, the country may suffer from an upsurge of all vector-borne and water-borne diseases, including kala-azar. Because climatic change, in combination with land use change driven by population pressure, is expected to increase, so too will the occurrence of vector-borne diseases such as kala-azar. Additional measures will thus be required to control the vectors, their abundance, and disease transmission. More research is needed if we are to reduce the impact of this fatal disease.

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Correspondence to Ashraf Dewan .

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Dewan, A. et al. (2016). Environmental Change and Kala-Azar with Particular Reference to Bangladesh. In: Noiri, E., Jha, T. (eds) Kala Azar in South Asia. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47101-3_19

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