Neglected tropical diseases

Skin diseases: integrated treatment to promote public health benefits

20 January 2017 | Geneva –– The World Health Organization plans to promote an integrated strategy for skin-related neglected tropical diseases that require active detection, treatment and control.

The approach is expected to provide a platform for treatment of common skin conditions, resulting in wider public health benefits.

Screening of school children for yaws in West Akyem district, Ghana © Kingsley Asiedu / WHO

Dracunculiasis eradication: Mali reports zero cases in 2016

11 January 2017| Geneva –– In 2016, a total of 25 human cases of dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease) were reported to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Mali – one of the four countries with 5 human cases in 2015 – has, for the first time, reported zero cases.

© A. Poyo / CDC / The Carter Center

Dracunculiasis certification: evaluation missions assess readiness level in three countries

15 December 2016 | Geneva –– WHO has conducted dracunculiasis evaluation missions in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan to assess level of readiness to finalize dossiers ahead of formal certification visits.

And, as 2016 wraps up, 23 cases of confirmed human cases have been reported from three of the four countries currently endemic for the disease.

© Arsenie Coseac

Egypt leverages domestic funding to eliminate schistosomiasis

29 November 2016 | Geneva | Cairo −− The World Health Organization (WHO) will support Egypt in implementing a domestically funded US$ 10 million project aimed at eliminating schistosomiasis.

The project, spread out over five years, also involves snail control and the promotion of other public health interventions such as access to safe water, sanitation and health education.

People are infected during routine agricultural, domestic, occupational and recreational activities which expose them to infested water.
© Roland Buzzi

WHO convenes experts to sustain progress against soil-transmitted helminthiases and schistosomiasis

25 November 2016 | Geneva –– An important meeting aimed at accelerating efforts towards achieving coverage of 75% of the world’s preschool-aged and school-aged children treated for intestinal parasitic worms and schistosomes (bilharzia) gets underway on Monday 28 November 2016.

Discussions will include finding ways to encourage the production of medicines; ensure their availability to meet growing demand; future plans to reach adult populations; and, the development of an appropriate methodology to verify interruption of transmission.

Morocco eliminates trachoma – the leading infectious cause of blindness

15 November 2016 | Geneva | Marrakech –– The World Health Organization (WHO) has today acknowledged the elimination of trachoma as a public health problem in Morocco – a milestone achieved after more than six decades of sustained control activities.

Morocco joins seven other countries – China, Gambia, Ghana, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mexico, Myanmar and Oman – in eliminating trachoma as a public health problem.

Trachoma is known to be a public health problem in 42 countries and is responsible for blinding or visually impairing about 1.9 million people
© Yasser Rafa

Visceral leishmaniasis: WHO publishes validation document as countries approach elimination

11 November 2016 | New Delhi | Geneva –– Three countries that were once highly endemic for visceral leishmaniasis are poised to eliminate the disease as a public health problem by 2020. Sustained disease control efforts in Bangladesh, India and Nepal have significantly lowered the number of new cases during the past five years.
As the three countries approach elimination as a public health problem, WHO's Regional Office for South-East Asia has published a document outlining the process of validation of elimination of this form of leishmaniasis.

Patients treated for visceral leishmaniasis in Bangladesh
© Jonathan Torgovnik

One of the biggest challenges in the control of the Aedes Egypti mosquito is its adaptation and resilience. Watch Dr. Raman Velayudhan’s comments.