Neglected tropical diseases

Paediatric chewable medicine promises improved treatment against intestinal worms

20 June 2018 | Geneva -- The World Health Organization (WHO) will soon make a paediatric formulation (500-mg chewable tablet) of mebendazole available to requesting countries for large-scale deworming interventions. Mebendazole – an anthelmintic (antiparasitic) is one of the medicines recommended by WHO against intestinal worm infections.
Non-chewable tablets currently distributed by WHO will continue to be donated to treat school-age children (5 years and above), while the newly available tablets will target children below that age. Both formulations are donated to WHO by the pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson.

Eradicating dracunculiasis: Chad to integrate approaches to tackle transmission

1 June 2018 | Geneva -- Chad has announced it is considering the deployment of all existing eradication strategies to break the transmission of dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease) in humans and in animals.
From January to April this year, Chad is the only country that has reported 3 human cases, along with 409 infections in dogs.
Among ‘last-mile’ difficulties, eradicating guinea-worm disease has experienced a major challenge – and the hurdle seems to be with animals.

Against all odds, Yemen launches its first large-scale treatment campaign against trachoma

©WHO Yemen

8 May 2018 | Geneva | Cairo | Sana’a -- Despite an ongoing war and instability, the national trachoma elimination programme in Yemen have launched their first large-scale treatment campaign, targeting approximately 450 000 people.
Implementation was carried out in six districts of two Governorates during which WHO-supplied facial kits comprising face towels and soap were distributed.
Yemen has one of the highest prevalence levels in the Middle East.

Egypt: first country in Eastern Mediterranean region to eliminate lymphatic filariasis

12 March 2018 | Cairo | Geneva –– Egypt has become the first country in the Eastern Mediterranean Region of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the latest in the world to eliminate lymphatic filariasis (LF) as a public health problem.

The country joins ten others already validated by WHO as achieving this criteria.

The landmark achievement brings prospects of hope and improved health to future generations of Egyptians.

Eradicating dracunculiasis: WHO certifies Kenya as South Sudan and Mali continue to report zero human cases

©WHO/Farah Agua

2 March 2018 | Geneva -- WHO has certified Kenya free of dracunculiasis transmission – a milestone dedicated to decades of hard work by health workers and volunteers.

Kenya becomes the 187th WHO Member state free of this disease since the eradication campaign started in the 1980s.

WHO has also congratulated Mali and South Sudan for continuing to report zero human cases. In 2017, there were only 30 human cases reported – 15 each from Chad and Ethiopia.