the pulse
The Pulse

Teaching an old drug new tricks

Time may be up for one of the world’s most deadly parasites, Kala Azar.


Each week The Pulse showcases topical stories from around the world and from laboratories working on new cures, vaccines and treatments.

Kala Azar

Getting Measles vaccinations to remote and
war-torn areas can be difficult

After years of hoping, time may be up for one of the most deadly parasites known to man. Kala Azar is a vicious parasitic disease that, with the exception of Malaria, claims the lives of more people each year than any other.

Transmitted by the bite of a sand fly, the disease attacks the internal organs, and, if left untreated, it is fatal.

But following successful clinical trials in India, an old drug is being used to perform new tricks – with the result that South Asia could finally see the end of this devastating disease once and for all.

The Pulse investigates, and talks to Dr Shyam Sundar, who has been instrumental in the trials to date.


Measles is one of the biggest child killers in the developing world. It is easily preventable by vaccination. But getting the vaccine to remote areas, sometimes torn by conflict can be a challenge.

To witness this first hand, The Pulse visits Tajikistan.

Watch part one of this episode of The Pulse on Youtube

Watch part two of this episode of The Pulse on Youtube

Episode 11 of The Pulse aired from Monday January 7, 2007

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