Neglected tropical diseases

Visceral leishmaniasis: WHO publishes validation document as countries approach elimination

Patients treated for visceral leishmaniasis, Bangladesh
© Jonathan Torgovnik

11 November 2016 | New Delhi | Geneva –– Three countries that were once highly endemic for visceral leishmaniasis are poised to eliminate the disease as a public health problem by 2020.

Bangladesh, India and Nepal have lowered the number of new cases and as the three countries approach elimination, WHO's Regional Office for South-East Asia has published the process to validate the elimination of this form of leishmaniasis.

Sleeping sickness: WHO scales-up data management training amid record low cases

©Ruiz Postigo J. A.
Member of a mobile laboratory team proceeding with the puncture
of lymph nodes for microscopic detection of trypanosomes

10 August 2016 | Geneva –– Over the past 15 years, WHO-supported national control programmes have substantially decreased new cases of human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) largely through the application of existing control tools.

To sustain progress, WHO is supporting the training of health officers in data analysis and mapping.

The aim is to expand knowledge on the management of information on the occurrence and geographical distribution of the disease.

Sleeping sickness: WHO scales-up data management training amid record low cases

© National Yaws Eradication Programme
Health workers using rapid point-of-care tests during a yaws study in Ghana

29 July 2016 | Geneva –– A study in Ghana and Papua New Guinea will determine if a lower dose of the antibiotic, azithromycin, is effective in curing yaws - a chronic skin disease that mainly affects children.
A lower dose is currently being used to treat trachoma, a disease of the eye. If efficacy of a yaws low dose is established, it can be a win-win situation to simultaneously tackle both diseases of poverty.
The researcher who discovered that a single dose of oral azithromycin against yaws recently appealed for free donation of tablets to accelerate eradication of the disease.