Neglected tropical diseases

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.

WHO recommends triple drug therapy to accelerate global elimination of lymphatic filariasis

© Marcus Perkins (reworked photo)

3 November 2017 | Geneva −− An alternative three drug treatment can accelerate the elimination of lymphatic filariasis - a disabling and disfiguring neglected tropical disease that affects millions of people, worldwide.

WHO is recommending a combination of ivermectin, diethylcarbamazine citrate (DEC) and albendazole to be used annually in special settings where its use is expected to have the greatest impact.

This improved regimen comes amid significant progress towards the elimination of lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem.

WHO publishes recommendations for large-scale deworming to improve children’s health and nutrition

© WHO

29 September 2017 | Geneva -- The World Health Organization (WHO) publishes recommendations for large-scale deworming to improve children’s health and nutrition.

WHO has long promoted large-scale treatment for intestinal worms, but this is the first evidence-based guideline confirming that deworming decreases and prevents the intensity (severity) of infection and improves the health and nutrient uptake of children.

Cambodia and the Lao People's Democratic Republic wipe out trachoma—leading infectious cause of blindness

Elimination through sustained and targeted approach eliminates
trachoma in Laos and Cambodia © USAID

21 September 2017 | Geneva -- WHO has congratulated the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on eliminating trachoma as a public health problem.
Trachoma - the world's leading infectious cause of blindness - was a recognized problem in Cambodia since the 1990s and in the Lao People's Democratic Republic since the 1970s. WHO validates the elimination of trachoma as a public health problem after conducting rigorous assessments.