Millions with tropical diseases are 'neglected'

2014-04-03 07:38


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - At least 1.4 billion people worldwide require treatment for a group of "neglected" tropical diseases and almost two-thirds are going without adequate medical care, eradication campaigners said on Wednesday.

Ailments including intestinal worms, elephantiasis and river blindness, lumped together as "neglected tropical diseases" (NTDs) mostly affect poor people living in remote rural areas, slums or conflict zones.

A new report from the World Health Organisation, released in Paris on Wednesday and supported by billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, found that 700 million people received some form of treatment for NTDs in 2012.

But many did not complete a full course of drugs, while hundreds of millions received nothing at all.

"We still need diagnostics and we still need drugs", Gates said at the launch of the WHO progress report dubbed "Uniting to Combat NTDs".

The list of NTDs also includes Guinea worm, blinding trachoma, bilharzia, leprosy, Chagas disease and visceral leishmaniasis (black fever).

The diseases are carried by parasites and bacteria that tend to spread in dirty, cramped living conditions with polluted water and poor sanitation.

They "shackle more than a billion people of the world and most of them are women and children", said WHO chief Margaret Chan.

Many of the diseases are treatable and avoidable, yet they kill, impair and disable millions every year.

More than 800 million children live in areas where worms are "intensively transmitted" and are assumed to be infected. That has an impact on their nutrition, education and general health.

"Funding shortfalls and constrained human capacity in many endemic countries continue to limit the scale-up of drug delivery", the report said.

The report said progress was gradually being made, with the pharmaceutical industry donating nearly 1.35 billion doses of treatments last year.

The World Bank Group will commit $120m for NTD treatment in low-income African countries, it said in a statement, while a group of donors announced on Wednesday they would give a similar amount to combat intestinal worms in poor communities.
Read more on:    who  |  world bank  |  bill gates  |  france  |  health  |  environment

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.