©WHO/Patient with visceral leishmaniasis, with bleeding, from Kapoeta, South Sudan, 2013

The Leishmaniases are diseases caused by protozoan parasites from more than 20 Leishmania species that are transmitted to humans by the bites of infected female phlebotomine sandflies.

There are three main forms of the disease: cutaneous, visceral and mucocutaneous: cutaneous leishmaniasis, visceral leishmaniasis or kala-azar, and mucocutaneous leishmaniasis.

fact buffet


300 000Estimated cases of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and over 20 000 deaths annually

Status of endemicity of visceral leishmaniasis, worldwide, 2012


1 millionCases of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) reported in the last 5 years.

Status of endemicity of cutaneous leishmaniasis, worldwide, 2012

At risk

310 millionPeople at risk of infection in six countries reporting over 90% VL cases worldwide.

Second WHO report on NTDs
Chapter 3.9, page 67–71

Fact sheet


N°375, updated February 2015

NTD Roadmap

Accelerating work to overcome the global impact of Neglected Tropical Diseases - A roadmap for implementation

Technical Report series (TRS)

The control of the leishmaniases (N°949)

Data and Maps

Leishmaniasis in the news

22 September 2015 | Geneva
Kala-azar elimination programme. Report of a WHO consultation of partners. Geneva, Switzerland, 10–11 February 2015

02 June 2015 | Geneva
Cutaneous leishmaniasis: control in selected countries of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean and African Regions. Report of an interregional network meeting, Casablanca, Morocco, 23–24 June 2014

02 June 2015 | Geneva
Leishmaniasis: strengthening cross-border collaboration for control in central Asian and middle-eastern countries of the WHO European and Eastern Mediterranean Regions
Report of a bi-regional meeting, Awaza, Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan, 18–20 November 2014