The ongoing 74th World Health Assembly declared January 30 as ‘World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Day’
About Neglected Tropical Diseases
- The proposal to recognise the day was floated by the United Arab Emirates. It was adopted unanimously by the delegates.
- A major milestone in the movement to recognise the global burden of these diseases was the London Declaration on NTDs that was adopted January 30, 2012.
- NTDs are a group of infections that are most common among marginalised communities in the developing regions of Africa, Asia and the Americas.
- They are caused by a variety of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, protozoa and parasitic worms.
- These diseases generally receive less funding for research and treatment than malaises like tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS and malaria. Some examples of NTDs include snakebite envenomation, scabies, yaws, trachoma, Leishmaniasis and Chagas disease.
- NTDs affect more than a billion people globally, according to the WHO. They are preventable and treatable. However, “these diseases — and their intricate interrelationships with poverty and ecological systems — continue to cause devastating health, social and economic consequences.
The WHO’s new road map for 2021–2030 calls for three strategic shifts to end NTDs:
- From measuring process to measuring impact.
- From disease-specific planning and programming to collaborative work across sectors.
- From externally driven agendas reliant to programmes that are country-owned and country-financed.
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