Forgot your password?



Back to login

Unprecedented progress against neglected tropical diseases - WHO
April 19, 2017, 4:19 pm
Share/Bookmark

The World health organisation (WHO) on Wednesday reported remarkable achievements in tackling neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) since 2007. An estimated one 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 in the report.

"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 programmes 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 included one billion people treated for at least one neglected tropical disease in 2015 alone, 556 million people receiving preventive treatment for lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), and more than 114 million people received treatment for onchocerciasis. 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 3,000 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 per cent of sub-districts in India, 97 percent of sub-districts in Bangladesh, and in 100 percent 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. 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 sixth 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. According to the WHO, the 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 percent of countries and territories that report the presence of NTDs are low or lower-middle income economies. 
 

Source: KUNA

Share your views
CAPTCHA
 

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."

"Envy comes from wanting something that isn't yours. But grief comes from losing something you've already had."

Photo Gallery