Neglected tropical diseases

Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization

WHO Director-General reminds health officials: never forget the people

16 May 2011 | Geneva

Extract from address by Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization.

"To address the neglected tropical diseases, WHO convened some of its most successful meetings ever. Support for these diseases has increased exponentially, measured most especially in massive drug donations from both traditional and newly supportive pharmaceutical companies.?
By the end of 2009, some 680 million people, the majority living in sub-Saharan Africa, had been reached with preventive chemotherapy for at least one of these diseases. On present trends, several of these neglected tropical diseases, responsible for untold human misery since antiquity, can be eliminated by 2015?
Against all expectations, human African sleeping sickness, a disease with a 100% mortality rate and imperfect control tools, also looks slated for elimination in the near future. ?
This achievement has been made possible by dedicated country teams, committed health officials in endemic countries, generous donations from industry, and support from international partners.?
The prevalence of guinea worm disease is now at its lowest levels in history, thanks to a revitalized strategy, working in collaboration with health officials in endemic countries, the Carter Center, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation