Neglected tropical diseases

WHO recommends five public-health interventions to accelerate the prevention, control, elimination and eradication of NTDs:

  • preventive chemotherapy – the large-scale delivery of free and safe, single-dose, quality-assured medicines, either alone or in combination, at regular intervals to treat selected diseases;
  • innovative and intensified disease management – the management of diseases that are difficult to diagnose and treat and which can, in most cases, trigger severe clinical manifestations and complications;
  • vector control and pesticide management – the safe and judicious management of public-health pesticides to achieve vector control through integrated vector management;
  • safe drinking-water, basic sanitation and hygiene services, and education – the prioritization of improved sanitation combined with delivering preventive chemotherapy and health education to sustain reductions in prevalence of many of these diseases;
  • zoonotic disease management – the application of veterinary sciences and interventions to protect and improve human health (also referred to as veterinary public-health).

Although one approach may predominate for the control of a specific NTD or group of NTDs, more effective control results when these approaches are combined and delivered locally. Research underpins all five interventions. Avenues for research and development must be pursued in order to find new approaches and simplified strategies as well as novel diagnostics, medicines, vaccines and vector control methods to enhance interventions and advance progress towards the Roadmap’s targets.