WHO releases first global report on neglected tropical diseases
TDR welcomes the release of the World Health Organization's first global report on overcoming the burden of neglected tropical diseases. It presents activities that are preventing and controlling neglected tropical diseases, to be used as a practical tool to help communities and governments. Global efforts to control “hidden” diseases, such as dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease), leprosy, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis and yaws, have yielded progressive health gains, including the imminent eradication of dracunculiasis.
WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan, in releasing this report, called on the global community to ... "Continue to innovate. We need better diagnostics and medicines, especially for the protozoal diseases. But we also need ingenious low-tech innovations that help streamline operational demands and stretch resources and drugs even further."
For over 30 years, TDR has supported research into these diseases -- research that has helped control these diseases. TDR was involved in the development of ivermectin and the community-led approach to distribute this drug that has led to a major reduction of the disease throughout Africa. It also supported the research that showed that bed nets reduced the incidence of malaria.
TDR Director Robert Ridley called this new report an important contribution. "We look forward to continuing this innovation, with a focus on helping those in these disease-endemic countries lead the innovation - identifying the priorities, conducting the research and putting this into practice."