Introducing single dose liposomal amphotericin B for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis in rural bangladesh: feasibility and acceptance to patients and health staff

J Trop Med. 2014;2014:676817. doi: 10.1155/2014/676817. Epub 2014 Jan 21.


Background. For the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis in Bangladesh, single dose liposomal amphotericin B (ambisome) is supposed to be the safest and most effective treatment. Specific needs for application and storage raise questions about feasibility of its implementation and acceptance by patients and health staff. Methods. The study was carried out in the most endemic district of Bangladesh. Study population includes patients treated with ambisome or miltefosine, hospital staff, and a director of the national visceral leishmaniasis program. Study methods include direct observation (subdistrict hospitals), open interviews (heath staff and program personnel), structured questionnaires, and focus group discussions (patients). Results. Politicalcommitment for ambisome is strong; the general hospital infrastructure favours implementation but further strengthening is required, particularly for drug storage below 25°C (refrigerators), back-up energy (fuel for generators), and supplies for ambisome administration (like 5% dextrose solution). Ambisome created high satisfaction in patients and hospital staff, less adverse events, and less income loss for patients compared to miltefosine. Conclusions. High political commitment, general capacities of subdistrict hospitals, and high acceptability favour the implementation of ambisome treatment in Bangladesh. However, strengthening of the infrastructure and uninterrupted supplies of essential accessories is mandatory before introducing sLAB in Bangladesh.