One year on and accelerating work to overcome neglected tropical diseases
Feasible and complete interruption of transmission of yaws has not been achieved because control programmes were halted in many endemic countries. Active case-finding and a single injection of benzylpenicillin is sufficient to cure the disease and reduce transmission of the pathogen. The main challenge remains the epidemiological assessment and implementation of control activities in WHO's African Region.
Another area of challenge is sustaining new methods of vector control, as evidenced by recent dengue outbreaks in various regions of the world. More resources are needed to scale up activities at the country level and to develop a new global strategic plan for dengue prevention and control.
Despite a difficult economic outlook, we believe that immense opportunities exist for investing in the health of poor populations to improve their health and reduce poverty. With a firmer resolve and the right interventions, WHO is confident that the burden of many of these diseases will be substantially reduced or eliminated by 2020.
- GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is expanding their donation of albendazole by 400 million tablets a year over the next 5 years starting in 2012. This additional donation mainly aims to treat children for intestinal worms and comes on top of the 600 million tablets of albendazole from GSK already being used in the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis. Combined, this latest increase brings to 1 billion the annual number of albendazole tablets donated by GSK.
- Sanofi renewed in March 2011 its agreement to donate an unlimited quantiry of eflornithine, melarsoprol and pentamidine for the treatment of human African trypanosomiasis. It is also contributing US$25 million over a period of five years (2011-2016) to support WHO's human African trypanosomiasis control programme. Sanofi-aventis also supports control programmes for other difficult-to-treat diseases such as Buruli ulcer, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis and yaws.
- Bayer signed an agreement with WHO on 4 March 2011 increasing its donation of nifurtimox from its current 2.5 million tablets over five years to 5 million tablets until 2017. This is meant for the treatment of Chagas disease and human African trypanosomiasis. Bayer which also donates an unlimited quantity of suramin for human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) will continue its cash contribution to fund logistics and distribution of medicines.
- Johnson & Johnson is expanding its current donation of 50 million treatments of mebendazole per year to 200 million annually.