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Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • UAE and charities at COP28 pledged $777 million for eradicating NTDs.
  • Contributions include $100 million each from the UAE and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • World Bank launched a program to support public health in developing countries, focusing on climate-related health risks.
  • Tropical diseases’ burden expected to worsen with climate change, along with threats like malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress.

 

About NTDs

  • NTDs comprise 20 conditions prevalent in tropical areas, affecting impoverished communities, particularly women and children.
  • Caused by various pathogens: viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi, and toxins.
  • Linked to poverty, limited healthcare access, and inadequate sanitation and hygiene.
  • Common in low-income populations in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
  • Historically receive less attention and funding for research and development, hence termed “neglected.”
  • NTDs thrive in rural areas, conflict zones, and hard-to-reach regions.
  • Flourish where clean water and sanitation are scarce, aggravated by climate change.

 

Neglected Tropical Diseases in India

  • India bears the world’s largest absolute burden of at least 10 major NTDs.
  • Diseases include hookworm, dengue, lymphatic filariasis, leprosy, kala-azar, rabies, ascariasis, trichuriasis, trachoma, and cysticercosis.

 

Government Initiatives in India

Program/InitiativeObjectives/Activities
National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP)– Conducts mass drug administration.

– Distributes bed nets.

– Promotes vector control.

National Health Mission (NHM)– Aims for accessible, affordable, and quality healthcare, including populations affected by Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
Kala-azar Elimination Programme– Launched in 1990-91.

– Target for elimination by 2023 (WHO’s NTD Road Map goal is 2030).

Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF)– India actively participates.
National Deworming Day (NDD)– Launched in 2015.

– Aims to reduce the prevalence of soil-transmitted helminthiasis among children through mass deworming programs.

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