Addis Zemen, Ethiopia: A severe outbreak of kala azar -a rare and fatal disease- has struck recently the Ethiopian region of Amhara. In the small rural community of Bura, where people have few access to primary health assistance, more than 150 persons have died and over 230 infected people have been recorded. An MSF team that was working in the region has taken the lead in the response.
A specialized treatment unit has been set up in the neighbouring Addis Zemen health centre. On admission, many patients are severely malnourished and need, beside the kala azar medication, a nutritional treatment as well. The measures adopted to fight the epidemic are working. Most of the patients that are treated in Addis Zemen improve rapidly and can be discharged.