Neglected tropical diseases

New approach needed to tackle parasitic liver disease in Europe and Turkey

31 August 2018 | Geneva −− For the first time, a study conducted in Europe and Turkey, has provided the real burden and prevalence of a parasitic infection that causes liver disease.

The study on cystic echinococcosis shows this disease is little known, poorly understood and remains asymptomatic and undetected in many cases.

The introduction of new policies, disease awareness programmes and control measures are crucial, particularly in endemic rural areas.

Decisive response: authorities work 24/7 to assist snakebite victims after Kerala floods

28 August 2018| Kerala, India | Geneva, Switzerland −− The recent flooding in Kerala, India is believed to have killed hundreds of people, with more than a million others displaced. Most of them were sheltered in relief camps.
With water levels receding, people returning to their homes are faced with the daunting task of dealing with snakes – with an unprecedented number of snakebites reported.
Through cross-sectoral collaboration, the authorities are offering round-the-clock services for assistance.

Human fascioliasis: review provides fresh perspectives on infection and control

©Staffan Scherz

27 July 2018 | Geneva –– A recently published paper discusses how a parasitic infection that mainly affects human liver is spreading and the need to comprehensively address all aspects of disease transmission and epidemiology.

The disease, fascioliasis, is acquired when people ingest aquatic vegetables to which the larval forms of the parasite are attached.

It is estimated that 2.4 million people in more than 70 countries are affected, with several millions at risk, worldwide.

Renewed medicine donation to sustain global fight against liver infection

©Gabrielli A./WHO

20 April 2018 | Geneva –– Hundreds of thousands of people suffering from or at risk of fascioliasis - a common foodborne infection - will receive free treatment with the continued donation of a medicine that can cure the disease.
Fascioliasis, caused by parasitic flatworms, mainly affects the liver. Infection occurs when people ingest aquatic vegetables, such as watercress, to which larval forms of the parasite are attached.
Farming communities in rural areas are mostly affected.

Community health workers, one-health approach contribute to control hydatid disease in rural Argentina

©I. Sanz

4 July 2018 | Geneva –– The indigenous Mapuche communities in Argentinan Pantagonia rely on their sheep and goats for survival as resources in their area are scarce.

Control of echinococcosis is therefore crucial to their livelihood.

An exemplary ‘One Health’ approach – involving strong community participation, veterinary services and public health – has produced positive results over the years, with reduced incidence of cystic echinococcosis in both humans and livestock.