WHO releases updates on targets to reduce NTDs

TDR news item
16 January 2013

WHO has issued a second report on neglected tropical diseases: Sustaining the drive to overcome the global impact of neglected tropical diseases. The report provides an update on the status of targets set to prevent, control, eliminate and eradicate 17 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) or conditions. These include diseases such as dengue, onchocerciasis, and schistosomiasis which cause lifelong disability and serious illness, mostly among people in low and middle-income countries.

The impact of the significant increase in donated medicines since 2010 and WHO Member States’ cooperation and commitments toward the targets is documented. These came after the first report published in 2010 and the ensuing roadmap and set of targets released in 2011. The report shows how combining approaches and delivering locally from five public-health strategies provides more effective control results. These strategies are:

  • Preventive chemotherapy
  • Innovative and intensified disease management
  • Vector control and pesticide management
  • Safe drinking water, basic sanitation and hygiene services and education
  • Veterinary public health services

Current and future challenges are identified, which include the effects of natural disasters, human conflicts and the need to be less reactive and to implement sustainable preventive measures guided by surveillance. Sufficient human resources (both technical and managerial) also need to be scaled up.

The report pointed to inadequate support for research, calling fundamental and operational research essential components that must continue if the diseases are to be overcome. It referred to TDR’s Global Report for research on infectious diseases of poverty and its call for more equitable support for research into NTDs.

For more information, please contact:

Neglected tropical diseases
E-mail: neglected.diseases@who.int