Neglected tropical diseases

Cambodia and the Lao People's Democratic Republic wipe out trachoma—leading infectious cause of blindness

Elimination through sustained and targeted approach eliminates
trachoma in Laos and Cambodia © USAID

21 September 2017 | Geneva -- The World Health Organization has congratulated the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on eliminating trachoma as a public health problem.
Trachoma - the world's leading infectious cause of blindness - was a recognized problem in Cambodia since the 1990s and in the Lao People's Democratic Republic since the 1970s. WHO validates the elimination of trachoma as a public health problem after conducting rigorous assessments.

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

© Reema Mouhammed

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.

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

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

8 April 2017 | Brazaville | Geneva −− 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.

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.

85 million people treated for trachoma through expanded access to medicine

Patients recover from trichiasis surgery, Sokoto State, Northwest Nigeria.
©G. Robertson/Sightsavers

13 July 2017 | Geneva –– New data released by the World Health Organization show that more than 85 million people were given antibiotics for trachoma during 2016.

The increase, from 52 million in 2014, is largely attributed to expanded access to donated azithromycin.

Along with this increase, WHO also reports that the annual number of people undergoing trachoma-related eye surgery has nearly doubled over the past three years.