Neglected tropical diseases

Egypt leverages domestic funding to eliminate schistosomiasis

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

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.

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.

WHO-led alliance receives award for saving the sight of millions

A woman is screened for trichiasis in the district of Sikasso, Mali 2015
© Helen Keller International

28 October 2016 | Geneva | Durban −− The WHO Alliance for the Global Elimination of Trachoma by the year 2020 (GET2020) has received the ‘Global Partnership Award’ in recognition of the remarkable progress achieved over the years with the support of an array of partners.
Trachoma is one of the most debilitating of the neglected tropical diseases and its economic cost is estimated in billions annually.
The award by the ‘International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness’ was announced during its 10th general assembly in Durban, South Africa.

WHO congratulates 4 countries for eliminating lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem


10 October 2016 | Manila | Geneva −− The World Health Organization (WHO) today congratulated four countries in its Western Pacific Region for having achieved the elimination of lymphatic filariasis (LF) as a public health problem.

It took over a decade of sustained efforts for Cambodia, Cook Islands, Niue and Vanuatu to overcome this debilitating disease. Along with Maldives and Sri Lanka (acknowledged earlier this year), these countries obtain this status after China (2007) and the Republic of Korea (2008), respectively.

More than 556 million people receive treatment for lymphatic filariasis in 2015

Health care worker in Indonesia providing advice to LF patient
©GSK/MoH Indonesia

6 October 2016 | Geneva −− Recent data published by the World Health Organization (WHO) show that more than 556 million people worldwide have benefitted from treatment for lymphatic filariasis.
This represents an increase of 18 million compared with the 538 million treated in 2014.
Under guidance from WHO, national programmes continue to accelerate interventions in endemic areas while many countries have started scaling down or have even stopped their large-scale treatment programmes.