Neglected tropical diseases

Dracunculiasis eradication: aggressive vector control to accelerate interruption of transmission

29 May 2017 | Geneva ––The World Health Organization (WHO) has called on countries where dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease) is endemic to expand the treatment of all water bodies with the cyclopicide, temephos.
Application of temephos in surface water is known to kill the water fleas (cyclops) that carry the infective guinea-worm larvae.
WHO’s call comes as the world enters the “last mile” in eradicating the first parasitic disease of humans. Until the end of April, only four human cases have been reported to WHO.

WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan at the dracunculiasis exhibit during the 70th World Health Assembly (24 May 2017) ©WHO/NTD

WHO Member States elect a new Director-General

23 May 2017 | Geneva –– Member States attending the Seventieth World Health Assembly today elected Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the new Director-General.

Dr Tedros (his name preference) an Ethiopian national, becomes the eighth Director-General of the specialized United Nations agency since it was founded in 1948.

His five-year term begins on 1 July 2017.

Health workers registering a child during a yaws mass treatment campaign in Timor Tengah Selatan District

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.

Health workers registering a child during a yaws mass treatment campaign - © Sub-Directorate of Leprosy and Yaws; MoH, Indonesia
dracunculiasis in Chad

Chad reporting fewer dracunculiasis infections in dogs

15 May 2017 | Geneva ––The decreasing number of dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease) infections in dogs in Chad indicates that enhanced control and surveillance measures, supported by a robust education campaign, are working.

The World Health Organization recommends that control measures should be combined with treatment using cyclopicide of all water bodies surrounding affected villages and neighbourhoods.

© Carsten ten Brink

South East Asia pledges to intensify efforts against neglected tropical diseases

26 April 2017 | Jakarta, New Delhi –– Member States of the World Health Organization's South East Asia Region have resolved to accelerate work in defeating five widespread neglected tropical diseases by 2020.

A three-day high-level meeting held in the Indonesian capital and attended by five ministers of health, adopted the Jakarta 'Call to Action' with a focus on innovation and research to improve surveillance, diagnosis and access to treatment.

From left to right: Mr K. Annan, Kofi Annan Foundation - Dr M. Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization - Mr B. Gates, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Global resolve to end neglected tropical diseases amid unprecedented progress

19 April 2017 | Geneva ––More than US$ 800 million dollars in new funding have been pledged by governments, partners, philanthropists and industry to defeat neglected tropical diseases.
The announcement came during the WHO-hosted Global Partners Meeting on 19 April 2017 and attended by health ministers, industry representatives, partners and a host of well-known personalities, including philanthropists, donors and stakeholders.

Left to right: Mr K. Annan, Kofi Annan Foundation - Dr M. Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization -
Mr B. Gates, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation