Yaws eradication

What is yaws?

What is yaws?
© MSF, 2012

Yaws is a disfiguring, infectious skin disease.

It mainly affects children who live in poor, remote communities with limited access to health care.

It is said that “where the road ends, yaws begins”.

Yaws is curable with a single dose of oral antibiotic.

Epidemiology of yaws

June 2015 | Geneva -- Some 13 countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific are known to be endemic for yaws, with an estimated 89 million people living affected areas.

In almost 73 countries where the disease was endemic in the 1950s, the current status remains unknown.

New rapid diagnostic test

May 2014| Geneva -- A new rapid diagnostic test to distinguish present and past infections is available.

The test is being deployed to support yaws eradication and monitor interruption of transmission.

This test will enhance eradication efforts.

Treatment of yaws

February 2015 | Geneva -- In 2012 researchers in Papua New Guinea discovered that a single dose of azithromycin (an oral antibiotic) cured yaws.

This simple, inexpensive treatment has now nhanced the prospects of eradication.

Elimination of yaws in India

11 May 2016 | Geneva/New Delhi -- Yaws eradication is currently targeted for 2020.

In 2016, India was the first country to ever be declared free of yaws. With the right support, eradication is possible.


October 2015 | Geneva -- Many new tools have been developed to assist eradication efforts over the past four years.

Key areas of research have been identified to address some operational issues as eradication efforts advance.