Neglected tropical diseases

85 million people treated for trachoma through expanded access to medicine

Patients recover from trichiasis surgery, Sokoto State, Northwest Nigeria.
©G. Robertson/Sightsavers

13 July 2017 | Geneva –– New data released by the World Health Organization show that more than 85 million people were given antibiotics for trachoma during 2016.

The increase, from 52 million in 2014, is largely attributed to expanded access to donated azithromycin.

Along with this increase, WHO also reports that the annual number of people undergoing trachoma-related eye surgery has nearly doubled over the past three years.

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. Full story

Chad reporting fewer dracunculiasis infections in dogs

Dracunculiasis in Chad
© Carsten ten Brink

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.

Togo: first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate lymphatic filariasis

8 April 2017 | Brazaville | Geneva −− The World Health Organization (WHO) has added Togo to a growing list of countries that have recently eliminated lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem.

Togo becomes the first sub-Saharan country to have achieved this global target established by the 50th World Health Assembly.

Marshall Islanders triumph against lymphatic filariasis

30 March 2017 | Manila | Geneva −− The World Health Organization (WHO) today acknowledged the Republic of the Marshall Islands in eliminating lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem.

The success in the Marshall Islands comes as another needed example that elimination as a public health problem can be achieved – an important message for the 66 countries still working towards this goal.

WHO calls for early detection, intensified efforts to eliminate leprosy

© G. Lausack

27 January 2017 | Geneva −− The World Health Organization (WHO) urges countries to scale-up interventions with a focus to avoid transmission of leprosy . An intensified, all-inclusive approach can prevent thousands of infections every year.