Neglected tropical diseases

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.

World Chagas Disease Day - opportunity to collectively celebrate all neglected tropical diseases

24 May 2019 | Geneva -- Delegates attending the 72nd World Health Assembly have approved a proposal that will henceforth designate 14 of April as 'World Chagas Disease Day'.

Raising awareness and the profile of this ‘silent disease’ - which is often diagnosed in late stages – is key to early treatment and cure.

Celebrating World Chagas Day on 14 April will provide this unique opportunity to add a global voice in favour of ‘forgotten diseases’.