After helping to successfully fight an outbreak of the deadly disease kala azar, MSF has handed over its project in Malakal to local health authorities. 

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Kala azar, a disease transmitted by certain types of sand flies, is endemic in much of Bihar. It causes enlargement of the spleen and, if left untreated, is fatal for virtually all patients.

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In collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the country’s Ministry of Health, an MSF medical team admitted 33 wounded patients to the hospital in the town of Malakal on the morning of February 11.

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In 2010, MSF responded to medical emergencies and provided nutritional support, reproductive healthcare, kala azar treatment, counseling services, surgery, and pediatric and obstetric care.

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The Eijkman Medal is the most prestigious Dutch prize in the field of tropical medical science and is awarded every two years to scientists who have made a major contribution to research. Koert Ritmeijer was awarded the medal for his groundbreaking research into kala azar, also known as visceral leishmaniasis.

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Given the current outbreak of the parasitic disease, more capacity to deal with the influx of patients is needed. The new site in Malakal comes in addition to MSF project sites in Lankien and Pagil and surrounding areas, all of which are treating unusually high numbers of kala azar patients.

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MSF has set up an additional base in Pagil, in Jonglei State, Southern Sudan, to deal with an alarming increase in the number of patients infected with kala azar—or visceral leishmaniasis.

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In the two months since MSF opened a kala azar treatment center in eastern Sudan, some 400 patients have been treated

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MSF is responding to outbreaks of kala azar—a severe parasitic disease—in Southern Sudan. The emergency is in several locations across the eastern part of the region, and MSF is treating patients in its clinics in Pibor and Lankien, both in Jonglei State, and using mobile teams in Rom, in Upper Nile State, to actively trace patients.

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