Neglected tropical diseases

Improved availability of new test to enhance global lymphatic filariasis elimination

05 February 2016 | Geneva −− A new diagnostic test enabling countries to determine when to stop large-scale treatment of populations to eliminate lymphatic filariasis (also known as elephantiasis) is now available.

The Filariasis Test Strip is a new point-of-care rapid diagnostic test and around 750 000 are expected to be distributed in more than 20 countries in 2016.

Laboratory technician using new test during training
©WHO/ J. King

Former President Jimmy Carter hopes to outlive the last guinea-worm

04 February 2016 | Geneva −− With only 22 cases of dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease) reported in 2015, former US President Jimmy Carter says the world has almost triumphed against guinea-worm disease.

In a lecture to the House of Lords yesterday, President Carter cautioned however that there is still a lot of work to be done - maybe the toughest ones are yet to come, as the final stages of eradication require constant surveillance and high levels of commitment.

WHO Executive Board recommends mycetoma resolution to World Health Assembly

28 January 2016 | Geneva −− The 138th Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO), meeting in Geneva, Switzerland today, has recommended a resolution on mycetoma to the 69th World Health Assembly.

The recommendation follows a lengthy debate on a Report by the Secretariat and paves the way for its adoption by the World Health Assembly – the decision-making body of WHO – when it convenes in May 2016.


WHO revises onchocerciasis guidelines as countries approach elimination targets

22 January 2016 | Geneva −− The World Health Organization (WHO) targets the elimination of onchocerciasis (river blindness) in Latin America, in selected African countries and in Yemen by 2020 as highlighted in the WHO Roadmap on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). As countries approach the end of the treatment phase, WHO has published revised guidelines incorporating new evidence gathered during the past 15 years.

©Kate Holt. WHO recommends treating onchocerciasis with ivermectin, at least once yearly for 10 to 15 years

Historic low number of guinea worm cases reported

15 January 2016 | Geneva –– From an estimated 3.5 million cases reported in 1986, only 22 new cases were reported from the remaining endemic countries: Chad, Ethiopia, Mali, and South Sudan.
This represents a reduction of 83% between January-November 2015 compared with 124 cases for corresponding period in 2014. South Sudan reported only 5 cases in 2015 compared with 70 cases in 2015.
Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and Kenya, countries in pre-certification stage, are exerting their effort to increase awareness about reward for voluntary reporting of guinea worm disease.

Eliminating human rabies transmitted by dogs

22 December 2015 | Geneva –– Elimination of human rabies transmitted by dogs is possible and tens of thousands of lives can be saved through closer collaboration between public health and veterinary sectors. A recent global conference has agreed on a framework to make affordable human vaccines and antibodies more accessible; ensure that people who get bitten receive prompt treatment, and, to scale-up mass dog vaccination to tackle rabies at its source.

fact buffet


99%of people infected live mostly in rural areas of 31 African countries.

Fact sheet on onchocerciasis

Chagas disease

8 millionpeople are estimated to be infected worldwide, mostly in Latin America.

Fact sheet on Chagas disease


22 casesreported to WHO in 2015 from only 4 African countries where transmission in ongoing.

Fact sheet on guinea-worm disease


Dracunculiasis Eradication

22 confirmed cases in 2015
Current situation