Neglected tropical diseases

Egypt leverages domestic funding to eliminate schistosomiasis

29 November 2016 | Geneva | Cairo −− The World Health Organization (WHO) will support Egypt in implementing a domestically funded US$ 10 million project aimed at eliminating schistosomiasis.

The project, spread out over five years, also involves snail control and the promotion of other public health interventions such as access to safe water, sanitation and health education.

People are infected during routine agricultural, domestic, occupational and recreational activities which expose them to infested water.
© Roland Buzzi

WHO convenes experts to sustain progress against soil-transmitted helminthiases and schistosomiasis

25 November 2016 | Geneva –– An important meeting aimed at accelerating efforts towards achieving coverage of 75% of the world’s preschool-aged and school-aged children treated for intestinal parasitic worms and schistosomes (bilharzia) gets underway on Monday 28 November 2016.

Discussions will include finding ways to encourage the production of medicines; ensure their availability to meet growing demand; future plans to reach adult populations; and, the development of an appropriate methodology to verify interruption of transmission.

Morocco eliminates trachoma – the leading infectious cause of blindness

15 November 2016 | Geneva | Marrakech –– The World Health Organization (WHO) has today acknowledged the elimination of trachoma as a public health problem in Morocco – a milestone achieved after more than six decades of sustained control activities.

Morocco joins seven other countries – China, Gambia, Ghana, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mexico, Myanmar and Oman – in eliminating trachoma as a public health problem.

Trachoma is known to be a public health problem in 42 countries and is responsible for blinding or visually impairing about 1.9 million people
© Yasser Rafa

Visceral leishmaniasis: WHO publishes validation document as countries approach elimination

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. Sustained disease control efforts in Bangladesh, India and Nepal have significantly lowered the number of new cases during the past five years.
As the three countries approach elimination as a public health problem, WHO's Regional Office for South-East Asia has published a document outlining the process of validation of elimination of this form of leishmaniasis.

Patients treated for visceral leishmaniasis in Bangladesh
© Jonathan Torgovnik

Leprosy: lessons to be learnt in overcoming discrimination and stigmatization

8 November 2016 | Seoul | New Delhi | Geneva ––The World Health Organization commends the initiative by countries to abolish laws enacted in the past and which allowed discrimination against people affected by leprosy.

Despite global progress, discrimination and stigmatization pose huge barriers to equitable treatment and social inclusion of leprosy affected people.

© Ed Hanley

Trachoma: WHO-led alliance receives award for saving the sight of millions

28 October 2016 | Geneva | Durban −− The WHO Alliance for the Global Elimination of Trachoma by the year 2020 (GET2020) has received the ‘Global Partnership Award’ in recognition of the remarkable progress achieved over the years with the support of an array of partners.
Trachoma is one of the most debilitating of the neglected tropical diseases and its economic cost is estimated in billions annually.
The award by the ‘International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness’ was announced during its 10th general assembly in Durban, South Africa.

A woman is screened for trichiasis in the district of Sikasso, Mali 2015.
© Helen Keller International

India’s massive leprosy case detection campaign reaches 320 million people

18 October 2016 | Geneva|New Delhi –– A recent door-to-door leprosy case detection campaign in India has screened a record 320 million people, revealing thousands of ‘hidden’ cases in some of the country’s districts.

The campaign by the National Leprosy Elimination Programme covered 149 districts across 19 states and mobilized almost 300 000 health workers.

Recent case detection campaign revealed thousands of 'hidden' cases
© File/Associated Press

One of the biggest challenges in the control of the Aedes Egypti mosquito is its adaptation and resilience. Watch Dr. Raman Velayudhan’s comments.