©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 October 2015 | Geneva
Visceral leishmaniasis: control strategies and epidemiological situation update in East Africa. Report of a WHO bi-regional consultation, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 9–11 March 2015

19 October 2015 | Geneva
South-East Asia poised to defeat visceral leishmaniasis (kala-azar)