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Archive for the ‘Neglected Tropical Diseases’ Category

WHO’s overview of neglected tropical diseases (NTD)


Below is a short description of the neglected tropical diseases:

Dengue: mosquito-borne viral disease causing flu-like illness. Occasionally develops into a lethal complication called severe dengue.

Rabies: viral disease transmitted to humans through the bites of infected dogs. Invariably fatal once symptoms develop.

Trachoma: infection transmitted through direct contact with eye or nasal discharge. Causes irreversible corneal opacities and blindness.

Buruli ulcer: debilitating skin infection causing severe destruction of the skin, bone and soft tissue.

Yaws: chronic bacterial infection affecting mainly the skin and bone.

Leprosy: caused by infection mainly of the skin, peripheral nerves, mucosa of the upper respiratory tract and eyes.

Chagas disease: infection transmitted through contact with vector insects, ingestion of contaminated food, infected blood transfusion, congenital transmission, organ transplantation or laboratory accidents.

Human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness): parasitic infection spread by bites of tsetse flies. Almost 100% fatal without prompt diagnosis and treatment.

Leishmaniases: transmitted through the bites of infected female sandflies. In its most severe (visceral) form, it attacks the internal organs. The most prevalent (cutaneous) form causes face ulcers, disfiguring scars and disability.

Taeniasis and neurocysticercosis: infection by adult tapeworms in human intestines; cysticercosis occurs when humans ingest tapeworm eggs that develop as larvae in tissues.

Dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease): nematode infection transmitted by drinking-water contaminated with parasite-infected water fleas.

Echinococcosis: infection caused by larval stages of tapeworms forming pathogenic cysts. Transmitted to humans through ingestion of eggs, shed in faeces of dogs and wild animals.

Foodborne trematodiases: infection acquired by consuming fish, vegetables and crustaceans contaminated with larval parasites.

Lymphatic filariasis: Infection transmitted by mosquitoes causing abnormal enlargement of limbs and genitals from adult worms inhabiting and reproducing in the lymphatic system.

Mycetoma: debilitating, disabling bacterial/fungal skin infection thought to be caused by the inoculation of fungi or bacteria into the subcutaneous tissue.

Onchocerciasis (river blindness): parasitic eye and skin disease, transmitted by the bite of infected blackflies. Causes severe itching and eye lesions, leading to visual impairment and permanent blindness.

Schistosomiasis: larval worm infection. Transmission occurs when larval forms released by freshwater snails penetrate human skin during contact with infested water.

Soil-transmitted helminthiases: group of intestinal helminth infections transmitted through soil contaminated by human faeces.

WHO Reports ‘Record-breaking’ Progress: About 1.5 billion people in 149 countries, down from 1.9 billion in 2010, are affected by neglected tropical diseases (NTD)



Unprecedented progress against neglected tropical diseases, WHO reports

WHO reports remarkable achievements in tackling neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) since 2007. An estimated 1 billion people received treatment in 2015 alone.

“WHO has observed record-breaking progress towards bringing ancient scourges like sleeping sickness and elephantiasis to their knees,” said WHO Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan. “Over the past 10 years, millions of people have been rescued from disability and poverty, thanks to one of the most effective global partnerships in modern public health”.

The WHO report, Integrating neglected tropical diseases in global health and development, demonstrates how strong political support, generous donations of medicines, and improvements in living conditions have led to sustained expansion of disease control programs in countries where these diseases are most prevalent.

Since 2007, when a group of global partners met to agree to tackle NTDs together, a variety of local and international partners have worked alongside ministries of health in endemic countries to deliver quality-assured medicines, and provide people with care and long-term management.

In 2012, partners endorsed a WHO NTD roadmap, committing additional support and resources to eliminating 10 of the most common NTDs.

Key achievements include:

  • 1 billion people treated for at least one neglected tropical disease in 2015 alone.
  • 556 million people received preventive treatment for lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis).
  • More than 114 million people received treatment for onchocerciasis (river blindness: 62% of those requiring it.
  • Only 25 human cases of Guinea-worm disease were reported in 2016, putting eradication within reach.
  • Cases of human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) have been reduced from 37 000 new cases in 1999 to well under 3000 cases in 2015.
  • Trachoma – the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness – has been eliminated as a public health problem in Mexico, Morocco, and Oman. More than 185 000 trachoma patients had surgery for trichiasis worldwide and more than 56 million people received antibiotics in 2015 alone.
  • Visceral leishmaniasis: in 2015 the target for elimination was achieved in 82% of sub-districts in India, 97% of sub-districts in Bangladesh, and in 100% of districts in Nepal.
  • Only 12 reported human deaths were attributable to rabies in the WHO Region of the Americas in 2015, bringing the region close to its target of eliminating rabies in humans by 2015.

However, the report highlights the need to further scale up action in other areas.

“Further gains in the fight against neglected tropical diseases will depend on wider progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Dr Dirk Engels, Director of the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases. Meeting global targets for water and sanitation will be key. WHO estimates that 2.4 billion people still lack basic sanitation facilities such as toilets and latrines, while more than 660 million continue to drink water from “unimproved” sources, such as surface water.

Meanwhile, global concern about the recent outbreaks of Zika virus disease, and its associated complications, has re-energized efforts to improve vector control. In May this year, the World Health Assembly will review proposals for a new Global vector control response. There are also brighter prospects to prioritize cross-sectoral collaboration to promote veterinary public health.

Global Partners’ Meeting

Integrating neglected tropical diseases in global health and development is being released at the Global Partners’ Meeting on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in Geneva, on 19 April 2017.

The Meeting will celebrate efforts to “Collaborate. Accelerate. Eliminate”, and will be attended by health ministers, industry representatives, partners and a host of well-known personalities, including philanthropists, donors and stakeholders.

Besides celebrating 10 years of multi-stakeholder collaboration, the event will also mark the 5th anniversary of the WHO NTD Roadmap which established targets and milestones for the global control, elimination, and eradication of many of these diseases as well as that of the London Declaration.

Note to editors:

Neglected tropical diseases blind, maim, disfigure and debilitate hundreds of millions of people in urban slums and in the poorest parts of the world.

Once widely prevalent, these diseases are now restricted to tropical and sub-tropical regions with unsafe water, inadequate hygiene and sanitation, and poor housing conditions. Poor people living in remote, rural areas, urban slums, or conflict zones are most at risk.

More than 70% of countries and territories that report the presence of NTDs are low or lower-middle income economies.


Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi): A collaborative, patients’ needs-driven, non-profit drug research and development (R&D) organization that is developing new treatments for neglected diseases.

Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a collaborative, patients’ needs-driven, non-profit drug research and development (R&D) organization that is developing new treatments for neglected patients.


DNDi is working on the following diseases:

In 2015, DNDi handed over its Malaria portfolio.


Working in partnership with private industry, public institutions, academia and NGOs, DNDi has built the largest ever R&D portfolio for kinetoplastid diseases.

To date, DNDi has successfully delivered, recommended and implemented:

Neglected tropical diseases are finally getting the attention they deserve


“…Yet one of the most inspiring success stories is perhaps the one most overlooked: the global effort to eliminate neglected tropical diseases, or NTDs.

Much of the recent success stems from a meeting in London on Jan. 30, 2012 ……

NTDs affect nearly 1.5 billion of the poorest and most marginalized people around the world. And while 500,000 people lose their lives to NTDs every year, these diseases are more likely to disable and disfigure than to kill. …….These agonizing conditions keep children from school and adults from work, trapping families and communities in cycles of poverty……

Today, the landscape is dramatically different. In 2015, nearly 1 billion people received NTD treatments — 20 percent more than just two years before. As a result, fewer people are suffering from these diseases than at any point in history. ……Much of this success can be traced to the 2012 meeting in London. There, the World Health Organization, pharmaceutical companies, donors, governments, and non-governmental organizations committed to work together to control and eliminate 10 NTDs. …”


London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases

London Declaration


For decades, partners including pharmaceutical companies, donors, endemic countries and non-government organisations have contributed technical knowledge, drugs, research, funding and other resources to treat and prevent Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) among the world’s poorest populations. Great progress has been made, and we are committed to build on these efforts. 

Inspired by the World Health Organization’s 2020 Roadmap on NTDs, we believe there is a tremendous opportunity to control or eliminate at least 10 of these devastating diseases by the end of the decade. But no one company, organization or government can do it alone. With the right commitment, coordination and collaboration, the public and private sectors will work together to enable the more than a billion people suffering from NTDs to lead healthier and more productive lives-helping the world’s poorest build self-sufficiency. As partners, with our varied skills and contributions, we commit to doing our part to:

We commit to doing our part to:

  • Sustain, expand and extend programmes that ensure the necessary supply of drugs and other interventions to help eradicate Guinea worm disease, and help eliminate by 2020 lymphatic filariasis, leprosy, sleeping sickness (human African trypanosomiasis) and blinding trachoma.
  • Sustain, expand and extend drug access programmes to ensure the necessary supply of drugs and other interventions to help control by 2020 schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthes, Chagas disease, visceral leishmaniasis and river blindness (onchocerciasis).
  • Advance R&D through partnerships and provision of funding to find next-generation treatments and interventions for neglected diseases.
  • Enhance collaboration and coordination on NTDs at national and international levels through public and private multilateral organisations.
  • Enable adequate funding with endemic countries to implement NTD programmes necessary to achieve these goals, supported by strong and committed health systems at the national level.
  • Provide technical support, tools and resources to support NTD-endemic countries to evaluate and monitor programmes.
  • Provide regular updates on the progress in reaching the 2020 goals and identify remaining gaps.

To achieve this ambitious 2020 vision, we call on all endemic countries and the international; community to join us in the above commitments to provide the resources necessary across sectors to remove the primary risk factors for NTDs-poverty and exposure-by ensuring access to clean water and basic sanitation, improved living conditions, vector control, health and  education, and stronger health systems in endemic areas.

We believe that, working together, we can meet our goals by 2020 and chart a new course toward health and sustainability among the world’s poorest communities to a stronger, healthier future. 


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