Neglected tropical diseases

Joint Application Package with improved functionality

11 December 2017 | Geneva –– The NTD Department has launched a new version of its Joint Application Package (JAP) for preventive chemotherapy (PC).

This version offers improved functionalities, such as customization to generate forms for specific diseases, automated data validation, analytic component which help to generate country profiles, based on reported data for endemic diseases and many others.

Schistosomiasis: WHO reports substantial treatment progress for school-age children

©United Nations

8 December 2017 | Geneva –– Countries endemic for schistosomiasis (bilharzia) have substantially scaled-up treatment of school-age children.
Data for 2016 published by the World Health Organization (WHO) show almost 71 million school children were treated, with 12 countries in Africa achieving 75% coverage.
The focus now is to extend treatment to adults, particularly women.
It is estimated that between 20 – 56 million young and adult women suffer from female genital schistosomiasis (FGS).

Guinea-worm disease: International Certification Team evaluates Kenya’s elimination claim

©WHO

6 December 2017 | Geneva | Nairobi –– An International Certification Team (ICT) is currently in Kenya to assess the elimination of dracunculiasis (commonly known as guinea-worm disease) in the country. The team, led by Dr Joel Breman – a veteran epidemiologist and global health expert – comprises local and international experts.

The evaluation mission will last 2 weeks during which time sub-teams will examine documented details of past cases and rumours in various regions of the country.

WHO welcomes new funding to accelerate demise of neglected tropical diseases

©Emirates News Agency

16 November 2017 | Geneva –– The World Health Organization (WHO) has welcomed the launch of a US$100 million dollar fund to accelerate the elimination of two devastating infectious neglected tropical diseases diseases – onchocerciasis (river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis).

The announcement was made during the Reaching the Last Mile: mobilizing together to eliminate infectious disease held in Abu Dhabi on 15 November, which focused on the eradication of two diseases – polio and Guinea worm disease.

River blindness: shifting from prevention to surveillance and elimination

Woman washing clothes by a river while black flies whizz around her,
Salambongo village, Democratic Republic of Congo. © N.Brandvold/DNDi

12 November 2017 | Geneva –– After years of painstaking control and prevention activities, the world is finally edging to eliminate river blindness (onchocerciasis) - a disabling parasitic infection that can result in blindness, impaired vision and skin disease.

Latest data show that globally almost 133 million people received treatment in 2016, compared with 46 million in 2005.
Despite remaining challenges, some obstacles to achieving elimination include 100% geographic coverage, instability and lack of political will.