Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)– a diverse group of communicable diseases that prevail in tropical and subtropical conditions in 149 countries – affect more than one billion people and cost developing economies billions of dollars every year. Populations living in poverty, without adequate sanitation and in close contact with infectious vectors and domestic animals and livestock are those worst affected.
Effective control can be achieved when selected public health approaches are combined and delivered locally. Interventions are guided by the local epidemiology and the availability of appropriate measures to detect, prevent and control diseases. Implementation of appropriate measures with high coverage will contribute to achieving the targets of the WHO NTD Roadmap on neglected tropical diseases, resulting in the elimination of many and the eradication of at least two by 2020.
In May 2013, the 66th World Health Assembly resolved to intensify and integrate measures against neglected tropical diseases and to plan investments to improve the health and social well-being of affected populations. WHO is working with Member States to ensure the implementation of resolution WHA66.12.
In 2016, the 69th Assembly adopted resolution WHA69.21 on addressing the burden of mycetoma and requested WHO, through the Strategic and Technical Advisory for Neglected Tropical Diseases, “to define a systematic, technically-driven process for evaluation and potential inclusion of additional diseases among the ‘neglected tropical diseases’”.
Accordingly, in 2017 the 10th meeting of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Neglected Tropical Diseases received proposals for the addition of diseases and, pursuant to the required procedures, chromoblastomycosis and other deep mycoses, scabies and other ectoparasites and snakebite envenoming have been added to the NTD portfolio: