Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
Applying our technical expertise and practical experience to the control and elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases in sub-Saharan Africa
The World Health Organization currently classifies 14 bacterial and parasitic infections as ‘neglected tropical diseases’ (NTDs). Over one billion people worldwide are infected with one or more NTD, which cause up to 500,000 deaths per year. Infections tend to occur in the poor and marginalised populations of low-income countries. While some NTDs such as sleeping sickness (human African trypanosomiasis) and ‘kala-azar’ (visceral leishmaniasis) cause many deaths, the majority of the global burden arises from chronic disability.
As a result of international advocacy on NTDs more attention is being given to controlling or eliminating these diseases. The main focus lies on the delivery of safe and effective drugs to control five diseases – river blindness (onchocerciasis), elephantiasis (lymphatic filariasis), bilharzia (schistosomiasis), intestinal worms (soil-transmitted helminthiasis) and trachoma.
Malaria Consortium began work on NTD control in 2005. The organisation has conducted situational analyses and reviewed possible interventions for NTD control in a number of African countries. At present it is working with the governments of Ethiopia, Uganda and Mozambique and the Southern Sudan administration, on aspects of their NTD programmes. For example, Malaria Consortium is supporting implementation of large-scale surveys in Southern Sudan and Ethiopia to establish which populations are suffering from NTDs, and deliver treatment and other interventions to those communities that urgently need them.
Malaria Consortium is also working in Southern Sudan to strengthen referral and supply systems, and improve case management of kala-azar, for which treatment is too expensive, complicated and toxic to be administered to the community at large.
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malaria control by increasing both supply and
demand for malaria control tools in Uganda
to appropriate treatment for childhood
illnesses at community level