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Preventing exposure and disease

Prevention and control strategies can be approached in two ways: preventing exposure and preventing disease.
Implementing combination of strategies will make the control efforts more successful. 

Preventing exposure

-        In anthroponotic transmission regions:

  • Host
    • Health education and awareness creation
    • Minimize nocturnal outdoor activities
    • Wearing protective clothing
    • Applying insecticide repellent to exposed skin
  • Vector control: Immature stages (larvae) difficult to control as their breeding sites are not fully understood. The vector control strategies are for adult sand fly.
    • Indoor spraying
    • Use of insecticide treated bed nets
    • Destruction of their habitat (e.g. termite hills, bushy areas and ruins of houses) and avoiding hiding and resting places for the sand flies
    • Functional fans/ventilators at night in bed rooms

-        In zoonotic transmission regions – In addition to the above reservoir control is also needed

  • Reservoir control
    • There is no clearly identified reservoir host for VL in Ethiopia
    • Control of the main reservoir animals (dogs, rodents), keeping them away from residential areas is important in other endemic regions (e.g. Mediterranean basin, Brazil).

Preventing disease

-        There is no vaccine or chemoprophylaxis to date. But it is known that it is only less than 10% of those infected that develop the disease. Most people remain asymptomatic. The development of disease is related to weak cell mediated immunity. Keeping good general health conditions and early treatment seeking behavior are important.