Neglected tropical diseases

Leprosy: new data show steady decline in new cases

9 September 2019 |Geneva | New Delhi -- Global leprosy data for 2018 show a decrease, with less than 8500 new cases at the end of 2018 than in 2017.
Increased cases registered in some parts of the world are attributed to improved contact screening, in addition to leprosy control activities.
India, which has the highest global burden, reported a drop of almost 15 000 cases over the past two years.

Neglected Tropical Diseases: WHO calls for nomination of experts on diagnostics

25 August 2019 | Geneva -- The World Health Organization (WHO) is seeking nominations from experts to form part of a new advisory group on diagnostics to support the work of the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases in addressing all the currently prioritized 20 diseases.
The role of the new Technical Advisory Group (DTAG) for NTD diagnostics is to harmonize approaches to identify and prioritize diagnostic needs as well as develop strategies and guidance on the subject.
Application deadline: 15 September 2019.

Despite challenges, Yemen eliminates lymphatic filariasis

15 August 2019 | Geneva | Sana’a --After more than two decades of sustained control and prevention measures, Yemen has eliminated lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem.

It now becomes the second country after Egypt to have been validated in the World Health Organization’s Eastern Mediterranean Region.

News of this remarkable success comes at a time when Yemen is facing difficult times as a result of war, civil unrest and insecurity.

WHO publishes new guidelines for the treatment of sleeping sickness

8 August 2019 | Geneva --Updated guidelines are now available to facilitate the treatment of people affected by the gambiense form of human African trypanosomiasis – also known as sleeping sickness.

The new guidelines follow the recent approval of an oral medicine, fexinidazole.

Meanwhile, new cases continue to decline reaching historically low levels. There were 977 reported cases of sleeping sickness in 2018 against 1442 in 2017.

WHO extends deadline of second-phase web consultation for new Roadmap on neglected tropical diseases

30 July 2019 | Geneva –– Following requests by several stakeholders, WHO has extended the deadline for online submission of feedback on the new NTD Roadmap from 31 July to 7 August 2019.

Member States, implementing partners, donors and stakeholders can now access a new document with revised milestones, following feedback collected during the first phase that was deliberated during the 12th meeting of the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Neglected Tropical Diseases (Geneva, 29–30 April 2019).

A young boy's eyes are examined for signs of trachoma during a Tropical Data Training, Senegal 2017

Eliminating trachoma: WHO announces sustained progress with hundreds of millions of people no longer at risk of infection

27 June 2019 | Maputo | Geneva -- The number of people at risk of trachoma – the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness – has fallen from 1.5 billion in 2002 to just over 142 million in 2019, a 91%'s reduction.
New data presented today at the 22nd meeting of the WHO Alliance for the Global Elimination of Trachoma by 2020 (GET2020) also show that the number of people requiring surgery for trachomatous trichiasis – the late, blinding stage of trachoma – has dropped from 7.6 million in 2002 to 2.5 million in 2019, a reduction of 68%.

RTI International/Shea Flynn

Visceral leishmaniasis elimination: intensifying surveillance to overcome last-mile challenges in Nepal

29 May 2019 | Kathmandu | Geneva −− Nepal has revised its national guidelines and intensified national surveillance in a concerted effort to overcome last-mile challenges to eliminate visceral leishmaniasis (also known as kala-azar) as a public health problem.

Although decades-long control and prevention activities have yielded huge gains against this lethal form of the disease, new cases have recently emerged in the hilly areas and districts of the Kathmandu valley.