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Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)


Why is it in the news?

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) released a progress report on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), focusing on advancements made in 2023 towards the Road map for NTDs 2021–2030.

More about the news

Targets of the road map:

  • It includes a 90% reduction in the number of people requiring treatment for NTDs, a 75% reduction in disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) related to NTDs, elimination of at least one NTD from 100 countries, and global eradication of two diseases: dracunculiasis and yaws.

Findings of the report:

  • In 2022, approximately 1.62 billion individuals needed interventions for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) globally.
  • By 2023, five countries successfully eliminated one NTD each, while another country eradicated two NTDs.
  • In India,56% of the population required NTD interventions in 2022, with the country being certified free of dracunculiasis since 2000 and yaws since 2016.

Key challenges with NTDs:

  • It includes a lack of reliable data, underdiagnosis, underreporting, inadequate surveillance and detection, insufficient funding, slow adoption of new interventions, and high out-of-pocket expenditures that make poor populations more vulnerable.

Recommendations:

  • Accelerating progress in high-burden countries, repositioning NTDs within the global health agenda (e.g., emphasizing their importance in health emergencies, pandemic prevention, and One Health initiatives), and developing a work plan for 2025–2030 with clear timelines and targets.
About NTDs

·    It encompasses a wide range of conditions of parasitic, bacterial, viral, fungal, and non-communicable origins, predominantly found in tropical areas.

·       They are labelled “neglected” as they have been historically absent from the global health agenda.

·       Examples of NTDs include yaws, chikungunya, dengue, trachoma, dracunculiasis, leprosy, lymphatic filariasis, rabies, soil-transmitted helminthiases, and leishmaniasis.

 

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