Yaws and other endemic treponematoses


Consultation on eradication of yaws, 20–22 March 2013, CICG, Geneva, Switzerland

In January 2012, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr Margaret Chan, launched a roadmap for neglected tropical diseases at a partners’ meeting in London, United Kingdom. The roadmap targets yaws eradication by 2020. The recent publication in the Lancet on the use of a single-dose azithromycin in the treatment of yaws is a major advance in the history of the disease and has spurred interest in the eradication of the disease.

In response to these developments, the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases organized a consultation in Morges, Switzerland, 5–7 March 2012 to prepare a strategy for yaws eradication as the basis for national plans to eradicate yaws. In view of the progress made, the International Task Force for Disease Eradication (ITFDE) at its 20th meeting in Atlanta on 27 November 2012, reviewed the current status of yaws and its possible eradication (see attached report and recommendations).

WHO/NTD proposes to organize a consultative meeting of experts from 20–22 March 2013 in Geneva to develop the necessary documents to guide the eradication process

  • Update on the epidemiological situation from endemic countries
  • To finalize the following draft documents:
    • Criteria, strategies and procedures for the verification of interruption of transmission and certification of countries.
    • Clinical and serological methods for assessing the impact of large-scale treatment with azithromycin.
    • Programme managers’ guide for the eradication of yaws.
  • To discuss the recommendations of the ITFDE and any other issues.
  • To discuss the economic aspects of yaws eradication.
Consultative meeting on the eradication of yaws, 5–7 March 2012, Morges, Switzerland

Consultative meeting on the eradication of yaws

The WHO Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases organized a three-day (5–7 March 2012) informal consultation on yaws eradication taking into consideration WHO NTD roadmap and new findings that a single dose of oral azithromycin was as effective as a single injection of benzathine penicillin.


The four objectives of the meeting were:

  • To review the epidemiological situation on yaws in different regions and identify gaps.
  • To analyse the implications of the Lancet publication on azithromycin in yaws eradication efforts.
  • To develop criteria and process for yaws eradication, and outline implementation plans.
  • To explore the collaboration of relevant NTDs programmes especially trachoma.
  • To identify potential donors and partners to support yaws eradication.

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Media contact:
Ashok Moloo
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