Rediff India Abroad
 Rediff India Abroad Home  |  All the sections


The Web

India Abroad

Sign up today!

Article Tools
Email this article
Top emailed links
Print this article
Contact the editors
Discuss this article

Home > News > Report

Bill Gates to help Bihar fight kala azar

Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | October 23, 2006 13:21 IST
Last Updated: October 23, 2006 16:40 IST

As hundreds of people, mostly poor, suffer from the deadly kala azar ( black fever) in Bihar, the World Bank and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are eager to fund the kala azar control and eradication programme.

Currently, 31 out of 38 districts in Bihar are in the grip of the disease. The state government's estimate is that over 25,000 people are suffering from kala azar.

Dengue deaths in Delhi became a national issue, but deaths due to kala azar that has been  regularly reported in rural Bihar hardly make any news. The main victims of this disease belong to poor Dalit castes, like Musahars, and backward castes.

Due to socio-economic reasons, landless Musahars and other backward castes have been forced to live in unhygienic conditions that made them easy prey to the dreaded disease.

Some kala azar experts have dubbed it the 'poor man's disease'. According to sources in the state government, the World Bank has shown keen interest to fund the kala azar control and eradication programme.

Bill Gates foundation also want to join hands to eradicate kala azar. "The foundation has decided to fund the battle against kala azar," Dr C P Thakur, a reputed expert of kala azar, said.

Thakur, a former Union minister, said that foundation was in touch with concerned department of the Government of India to reduce suffering of people.

A World Bank team will visit Bihar's worst kala azar hit districts of Muzaffarpur and Vaishali in north Bihar shortly to review the situation, official sources said.

In Bihar, only a few districts including Gaya, Kaimur, Rohtas, Aurangabad, Nawada ,Jamui and Banka remains free from kala azar till date.

Ironically, for over ten years the blame game over kala azar is going on between the Centre and state government. Both blamed each other for failure to check the disease.

Lack of funds, supply of DDT and apathy of the administration pushing more and more people to death due to kala azar in this impoverished state.

Kala azar -- medically known as Visceral Leishmaniasis -- is a vector-borne disease and is characterised by fever, weight loss, swelling of spleen and liver and anemia that could lead to cardiovascular complications.

Share your comments

 What do you think about the story?

Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 11

Sub: Shameful to be an indian

The time has come for the indian public to ask for the reply from these politicians that the common man is starving and struggling for ...

Posted by Ajay Sharma

Sub: kala azar not a disease of dalit

Kalazar is not a disease of dalits i.e.,mushar.what is mind set of our people that also link a disease to lower is disease cause ...

Posted by dewendra singh

Sub: comments

i wish to know in which way Mr n Mrs.Bill gates r going to help the state of Bihar in the fight against the Kala ...

Posted by dr chander kant

Sub: Indians have no sense of SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

a person from a far off continent has the heart to loosen his purse strings for a social cause in our and on we ...

Posted by manjula saxena

Sub: Gates with Bihar against fever

Problem of kalazar fever is not new for Bihar.It is not known outside Bihar is mainly due to least coverage given by media.It is media ...

Posted by Manishi Mani



Copyright © 2006 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.