Entry Title: "
Portrait of Kala-azar sufferer Manikant"
Category: Professional, Environmental
Entry Description: Inside a hut, Manikant sleeps under a mosquito net that also keeps the sand flies away. Manikant is seven years old and has been terribly ill for two months with Kala-azar which he contracted through a sand fly bite. He was struck by a high chill fever after the annual floods receded and has not yet recovered. A local quack diagnosed him within days of Malaria, but the wrong treatment did little to alleviate his pain or reduce the ever increasing size of his abdomen.
Sandflies plague the area after flooding and due to climate change the area of Bihar, India is becoming more and more frequently flooded. The sand fly breeds between the small cracks of mud that cover the straw huts and swarm in the water-logged areas and the disease is on the increase . One bite can transmit a parasite into a human’s blood with devastating effects. The disease is called Leishmaniasis, but it is commonly known as Kala-Azar, meaning Black-fever in Hindi.
There is a treatment available, but people are ignorant to the condition and the free treatment available at the district government hospitals is ignored until it is too late.