Neglected Tropical Diseases

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a diverse group of communicable diseases that prevail in tropical and subtropical conditions in 149 countries and affect more than one billion people, costing developing economies billions of dollars every year. They mainly affect populations living in poverty, without adequate sanitation and in close contact with infectious vectors and domestic animals and livestock.Many of them cause severe disfigurement and disabilities, including blindness.

NTDs coexist with poverty because they thrive where access to clean water and sanitation is limited, and people live without protection from disease vectors. The NTDs also are recognized as a contributor to poverty since they can impair intellectual development in children, reduce school enrollment and hinder economic productivity by limiting the ability of infected individuals to work.

The Buruli ulcer disease mainly affects children under the age of 15, the reason for which is unknown and no research has been conducted about this, nor indeed into the methods of infection of this rare disease.In Africa, DAHW,Germany in partnership with Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg and long term partner Fondation Follereau Luxembourg (FFL)is working to achieve better diagnosis for patients and to finally find the causes of Buruli Ulcer.

More than 500 million people in India are at risk for one or more of the world’s five most prevalent NTDs: Lymphatic Filariasis (LF), Trachoma, and Soil transmitted Helminths (STHs) including Hookworm, Roundworm and Whipworm.

India has some of the largest and longstanding NTD programs in the world, but an additional 300 million people are in need of treatment. Global progress on NTDs hinges on India’s efforts and successes. India can scale up its efforts and serve as a model of success for NTD-endemic countries throughout the world.