Friday 5 January 2024 - Updated on Friday 5 January 2024
Find out more about the LeichAcess project currently underway on leichmaniasis.

Epicentre is a member of the LeichAcess consortium, a three-year project aimed at improving access to care for leishmaniasis patients, including vulnerable groups, for the different forms of the disease (visceral leishmaniasis (VL), cutaneous leishmaniasis, PKDL and VL/HIV).

Leishmaniasis is the largest parasitic killers after malaria. There are three main forms of leishmaniases: visceral (also known as kala-azar), cutaneous (the most common), and mucocutaneous. The visceral form is the most severe and is fatal if left untreated. Despite progress made so far, an estimated 50% of patients still do not have access to appropriate diagnosis and treatment. It is to respond to these challenges that DNDi initiated LeishAccess, which is implemented by a consortium of experts and key health institutions in collaboration with the Ministries of Health of Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.  

The project aims to: 

  • Facilitate the uptake and adoption of new diagnostics and treatment options for visceral leishmaniasis, post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL), and co-infection of visceral leishmaniasis and HIV (HIV-VL) 
  • Prove the efficacy and tolerability of thermotherapy for the treatment of uncomplicated cutaneous leishmaniasis cases and improve its access under conditions of routine disease control 
  • Fill knowledge gaps through operational research in the access to visceral leishmaniasis diagnosis and treatment in vulnerable groups 
  • Advocate and communicate to increase national and regional support towards improved access to leishmaniasis diagnosis and treatments 

The main outcome for the project includes increasing use of optimal visceral leishmaniasis diagnostics and treatment combinations, specifically liposomal amphotericin B & miltefosine for HIV/VL, miltefosine & paromomycin for visceral leishmaniasis, and paramomycin & miltesfone or liposomal amphotericin B & miltefosine for PKDL.



Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.


Tentative End date:

June 2024


Who is involved?

Armauer Hansen Research Institute (AHRI), Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), FIND, the global alliance for diagnostics, Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), Institute of Endemic Diseases (IEND), Makerere University, Medecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Amsterdam, University of Gondar

This project is part of the EDCTP2 programme supported by the European Union (grant number RIA2020S-3301-LeishAccess), and funding from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Medicor Foundation, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and UK aid.

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