Neglected Tropical Diseases: Shift of Focus Imminent?
As long as these diseases remain unaddressed, poverty cannot be reduced significantly
At long last, Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) seem to be slowly but steadily shifting into focus. A very welcome development indeed, as about one billion people are affected.
While more recently described NTDs like Nodding Disease remain critically under-researched, cost effective strategies are available to control many of the longer-known NTDs. However, systemic poverty prevents their implementation in many regions and social strata – in short, they affect people who are politically and economically marginalized. All too often, they remain below the radar of policy makers and pharmaceutical companies alike. Success in controlling and eventually eliminating NTDs therefore depends on the ability of countries to engage communities and integrate NTS programmes into nation-wide health programmes.
For many years, LIGHT FOR THE WORLD has actively been involved in eradicating one of the most wide-spread NTDs, blinding trachoma. In 2013 we successfully completed mapping of trachoma in our project regions in Ethiopia - and yesterday, on 31 March 2014, mapping started in Tete province, Mozambique. Thanks to these efforts and those of our partners, the number of persons suffering from trachoma has been reduced drastically since the 1980s, from an estimated 500 million in 1981 to 21.4 million in 2013.
On April 2, the United to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases: A Conversation on Progress webcast and live Q&A will be broadcast live from Institut Pasteur in Paris from 18:00 - 19:30 Central European Time. LIGHT FOR THE WORLD will be co-hosting the webcast on this page. Stay tuned!