The World Health Organisation (WHO) has come up with a road map on how to tackle 20 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) globally in the next ten years.
The World Health Assembly endorsed plan 'Ending the neglect to attain the Sustainable Development Goals: a road map for neglected tropical diseases 2021-2030,' aims to renew momentum with concrete actions focused on integrated platforms for delivery of interventions. Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affect more than a billion people, mainly poor people. The road map is designed to address critical gaps across multiple diseases by integrating and mainstreaming approaches and actions within national health systems, and across sectors.
The 2030 targets include reducing the number of people requiring treatment by 90%, eliminating one NTD in at least 100 countries, eradicating two diseases (dracunculiasis and yaws) and reducing by 75% the disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) related to such diseases. Additionally, the road map will track 10 cross-cutting targets and disease specific targets that include a reduction by more than 75% in the number of deaths from vector-borne NTDs such as dengue, leishmaniasis and others, promoting full access to basic water supply, sanitation and hygiene in areas endemic for NTDs and achieving greater improvement in collecting and reporting NTD data disaggregated by gender.
In the past decade, substantial gains have been made, resulting in 600 million fewer people at risk of NTDs than a decade ago, the WHO says. 42 countries have eliminating at least one NTD, including some defeating multiple NTDs. Furthermore, global programmes treated more than 1 billion people a year for 5 consecutive years between 2015 - 2019.