Visceral leishmaniasis case management training conducted for Eritrea, 15-17 June 2021
WHO (WCO/ Eritrea, AFRO and HQ) in collaboration with Neglected Tropical Disease NTD prevention & control Unit the Ministry of Health conducted three days virtual training programme for health care providers on diagnosis and case management of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in WHO/ Eritrea Conference room from 15-17 June 2021.
Leishmaniasis is one of the case management neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) caused by the Leishmania parasite and transmitted by the bites of infected female sand fly. It is prevalent in the tropics and affects the poorest people living in remote rural areas.
Eritrea is endemic for both forms of leishmaniases: visceral which is fatal if left untreated and cutaneous leishmaniasis, which is the most common form. In recent years, Eritrea has observed a sharp increase in number of VL cases majority of cases coming from Gash Barka, Debub and Anseba areas.
Dr. Theodros Tekeste HPD Officer and NTD focal person officially opened the training. He congratulated and welcomed the experts and colleagues from the WHO Regional Office for Africa and Headquarters, Geneva and WHO collaborating centers for investing their precious time and effort. He called on the participants to take advantage of this 1st time training for the country to equip themselves with the new knowledge to improve their performance on case management of VL.
The training was conducted to enhance the capacity of the Neglected Tropical Disease prevention and Control Unit of the Ministry of Health, to diagnose and treat VL in line with the WHO recommendations, develop guideline and protocol for eradication and control Leishmaniasis.
All the necessary Public health COVID19 pandemic preventive measures was taken according to WHO and the national protocol for the prevention of COVID19 transmission.
The training is expected to help Eritrea to roll out VL case management in the country in line with the WHO recommendations including the use of rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for VL diagnosis, use of combination treatment with sodium stibogluconate plus paromomycin for VL management, which is the first line regimen recommended by WHO for VL treatment in east Africa and use of the administration of liposomal amphotericin B for complications and in special groups.
The training was facilitated by Leishmania experts from the WHO Regional Office for Africa, HQ-Geneva and WHO collaborating centers the University Hospital, Madrid, and Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Majadahonda Spain.
As a result of the training four Clinicians (doctors), three senior Laboratory technicians, One NTD Program Manager MOH and One WHO country office focal person enhanced their capacities to manage this deadly disease and countries capacity to be developing a national guidelines and surveillance protocols.
As a closing remark Dr. Araia Berhane Communicable disease Director (CDC) MOH Eritrea congratulated and gave his sincere thanks to the facilitators from WHO (Eritrea, AFRO and HQ) and WHO Collaborative Centers and Participants for making this important capacity enhancing TOT training.
Finally, recommendations were passed by participants to support organize similar cascade training for Leishmania endemic zobas (Debub, Gash- Barka and Anseba) to improve their skills in the prevention, detection and case management of VL; to strengthen facility capacity by equipping with adequate and appropriate diagnostic tools like RDT and Medicines for better management of VL.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of WHO Regional Office for Africa.