Neglected tropical diseases

Eliminating sleeping sickness as a public health problem is on track

© MSF. Boy being screened for sleeping sickness during a campaign in DRC

14 June 2017 | Geneva –– Uninterrupted control activities, improved surveillance and reinforced passive case-finding have resulted in the sustained decrease in new cases of human African trypanosomiasis (also known as sleeping sickness).

There were only 2184 new cases reported in 2016, as compared with fewer than 5000 in 2014 and 10000 in 2009.

Accelerating yaws eradication: antibiotic added to WHO’s essential medicines list


9 June 2017 | Geneva –– The World Health Organization (WHO) has indicated azithromycin as the antibiotic for the treatment of yaws - a chronic infectious disease that mainly affects children.

Its inclusion in WHO's latest Model list of Essential Medicines is expected to facilitate access to the medicine and enhance the implementation its eradication, worldwide.

Indonesia mobilizes resources to defeat yaws


19 May 2017 | Geneva –– Indonesia has rolled out a comprehensive programme to eliminate yaws - a chronic skin disease that mainly affects children.

Strong political commitment has ensured adequate funding for the programme and the procurement of azithromycin - an oral antibiotic that can cure yaws infection.

Yaws is the third disease targeted for eradication by the World Health Organization (WHO). The two others are: dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease) and polio.

Brazil’s EMS pledges medicine donation to accelerate yaws eradication

Carlos Sanchez, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NC Group

19 April 2017 |Geneva –– Brazil’s largest pharmaceutical company, EMS has announced the donation of the oral form of the antibiotic azithromycin to support a renewed initiative by the World Health Organization (WHO) to achieve the eradication of yaws by 2020.
Until recently, the standard treatment for yaws has been intramuscular injections of benzathine penicillin. The discovery in 2012 that a single oral dose of azithromycin completely cures the disease can accelerate the eradication of the disease.
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.