Overview of Neglected Tropical Diseases
Neglected tropical diseases (NTD) affect the health of over 1 billion people worldwide, especially among poor and rural populations. These diseases can cause severe sickness and disfigurement, affect mental and physical development, and lead to discrimination, stigmatization, and loss of economic productivity.
Targeted mass drug administration can control seven of the most prevalent NTDs. When treatment is provided to at-risk populations annually over successive years, these diseases may be eliminated or reduced to an extent that they no longer pose a public health threat.
In an effort to fight these diseases, the US Agency of International Development’s (USAID) NTD Program set a goal of reducing the prevalence of seven NTDs by at least half among 70% of the world’s affected populations. On September 29th, 2010, USAID awarded FHI 360 two five-year Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases Cooperative Agreements, spanning both Africa and Asia, to work toward the elimination of:
- Onchocerciasis (river blindness)
- Schistosomiasis (snail fever)
- Lymphatic Filariasis (elephantiasis)
- Soil-transmitted helminthiasis (whipworm, hookwom, roundworm)
END in Africa subsequently received a three-year extension running through September 2018.
Photo Credit: Yaobi Zhang, Helen Keller International