Neglected tropical diseases

Leprosy – improved reporting, active case-finding and enhanced data collection reveal hidden cases

18 September 2017 | Geneva | New Delhi –– The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported a modest increase in the number of new leprosy cases during 2016.

The increase – mainly linked to improved active case-finding and enhanced data collection – is part of a recently introduced 'consolidated' online reporting system.

A total of 2810 additional cases were notified in 2016 compared with 2015.


Ensuring timely medicine supply and management key to large-scale treatment campaigns

13 September 2017 | Geneva –– A progressive increase in donated medicines for the preventive treatment of neglected tropical diseases requires careful planning to ensure that shipments arrive on time to enable accurate, on-schedule delivery.

Medicines which are donated through the World Health Organization have increased from 353 million tablets in 2009 to more than 1.7 billion in 2016.

© Reema Mouhammed

Eradicating dracunculiasis: Chad intensifies national campaign as ninth human case is confirmed

6 September 2017 | Geneva −− Chad − the only country which has reported human cases of guinea-worm disease so far this year - has launched a national campaign to accelerate the prompt detection and containment of all cases. ‘Heroes of Guinea-worm campaign’ aims to speed up reporting of all humans and animals infected with Dracunculiasis medinensis (the Guinea worm).

From 1 January to 31 July 2017, all nine human cases have occurred in Chad.

©WHO. Treating water bodies with temephos (cyclopicide) is part of measures
to control and eliminate dracunculiasis in Chad.

Thailand committed to defeating human rabies by 2020

4 September 2017 | Geneva –– Cases of human rabies deaths in Thailand have declined from almost 200 in 2005 to fewer than eight in 2015.

This is the result of a national strategy and also the personal commitment of Her Royal Highness Princess Chulaborn Mahidol, who is championing the mass vaccination and management of dogs and an enhanced awareness of rabies.

Princess Chulabhorn visited the World Health Organization’s headquarters in Geneva on Monday 28 August.

Her Royal Highness Princess Chulaborn Mahidol is greeted by WHO Assistant Director-General, Dr Ren Minghui
©WHO/C. Black

Neglected tropical diseases course now accessible via eLearning

03 August 2017 | Geneva ––The first free, on-line course on a neglected tropical disease is now available to the public.

The course on post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) aims to help health workers and field practitioners recognize this form of the disease which is often misdiagnosed. Anyone completing the course with a minimum score of 70% will be awarded a certificate.

Tonga eliminates lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem

31 July 2017 | Manila | Geneva -- The country joins Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Niue, the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Korea and Vanuatu in WHO's Western Pacific Region that have been validated as having achieved elimination of lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem since WHO launched the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis in 2000.

Lymphatic filariasis is a mosquito-borne disease that damages the lymphatic system, leading to severe disfigurement, pain and disability.

J. Abel/Vava'u, Tonga

Cameroon investigates yaws outbreak among indigenous populations

21 July 2017 | Geneva –– The World Health Organization (WHO) is providing financial support, medicine, technical and logistical assistance to Cameroon to contain an outbreak of yaws among its tribal population in the country's east region.

Hundreds of people and household contacts have already been treated as medical teams continue to find cases in order to prevent the disease spreading to neighboring areas.

© Earnest Njih Tablah