Milestones :: Perspectives

Milestones :: Perspectives

Unprecedented progress against neglected tropical diseases, WHO reports
19 April 2017, Geneva

WHO reports remarkable achievements in tackling neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) since 2007. An estimated 1 billion people received treatment in 2015 alone.

“WHO has observed record-breaking progress towards bringing ancient scourges like sleeping sickness and elephantiasis to their knees,” said WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan. “Over the past 10 years, millions of people have been rescued from disability and poverty, thanks to one of the most effective global partnerships in modern public health”.

The WHO report, Integrating neglected tropical diseases in global health and development, demonstrates how strong political support, generous donations of medicines, and improvements in living conditions have led to sustained expansion of disease control programmes in countries where these diseases are most prevalent.

Since 2007, when a group of global partners met to agree to tackle NTDs together, a variety of local and international partners have worked alongside ministries of health in endemic countries to deliver quality-assured medicines, and provide people with care and long-term management.

In 2012, partners endorsed a WHO NTD roadmap, committing additional support and resources to eliminating 10 of the most common NTDs.

Key achievements include:
:: 1 billion people treated for at least one neglected tropical disease in 2015 alone.
:: 556 million people received preventive treatment for lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis).
:: More than 114 million people received treatment for onchocerciasis (river blindness: 62% of those requiring it.
:: Only 25 human cases of Guinea-worm disease were reported in 2016, putting eradication within reach.
:: Cases of human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) have been reduced from 37 000 new cases in 1999 to well under 3000 cases in 2015.
:: Trachoma – the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness – has been eliminated as a public health problem in Mexico, Morocco, and Oman. More than 185 000 trachoma patients had surgery for trichiasis worldwide and more than 56 million people received antibiotics in 2015 alone.
:: Visceral leishmaniasis: in 2015 the target for elimination was achieved in 82% of sub-districts in India, 97% of sub-districts in Bangladesh, and in 100% of districts in Nepal.
:: Only 12 reported human deaths were attributable to rabies in the WHO Region of the Americas in 2015, bringing the region close to its target of eliminating rabies in humans by 2015.

However, the report highlights the need to further scale up action in other areas.

“Further gains in the fight against neglected tropical diseases will depend on wider progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Dr Dirk Engels, Director of the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases. Meeting global targets for water and sanitation will be key. WHO estimates that 2.4 billion people still lack basic sanitation facilities such as toilets and latrines, while more than 660 million continue to drink water from “unimproved” sources, such as surface water…


IFPMA   [to 22 April 2017]
17 April 2017
Progress report on biopharmaceutical industry contributions to the global fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
:: 109 active R&D projects for NTDs, of which over 90% are collaborative involving over 50 universities, non-governmental organizations and public and private sector institutes.
:: Promising NTD pipeline with 7 compounds targeting American Trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), dengue, Human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), lymphatic filariasis, rabies, and trachoma.
:: The biopharmaceutical industry continues to deliver on its 2012 pledge of 14 billion donated treatments over 10 years to control or eliminate the ten neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and works with WHO and other partners to implement over 40 capacity building programs.
Geneva, 18 April 2017– On the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the World Health Organization’s roadmap on NTDs and the London Declaration, IFPMA released today its latest report “Doing our part – Innovating to fight Neglected Tropical Diseases that provides the most up-to-date record of active research and development (R&D) projects for the next generation of medicines and vaccines for NTDs[i]


Featured Journal Content

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
(Accessed 22 April 2017)
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: Ten years of progress in neglected tropical disease control and elimination … More or less
Peter Hotez, Serap Aksoy
Editorial | published 20 Apr 2017 PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
This year PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases (PLOS NTDs) celebrates its tenth anniversary following the publication of the first issue in 2007 [1]. When PLOS NTDs was founded, the framework of the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) as an alternative to “other diseases” (as they were then referred to in the Millennium Development Goals) was just getting started—especially for Africa [2, 3]. In the decade since, PLOS NTDs has overseen enormous successes in NTD control and elimination. Here, we want to briefly review the ten year progress made towards the control or elimination of the diseases now identified by the WHO as NTDs. Many of the details are highlighted in PLOS NTDs papers cited here, but the summary information is based on the recently released Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study 2015 (also launched with Gates Foundation support) that summarized past-decade changes in disease prevalence, mortality, or disability rates (from the years 2005 to 2015) [46], as well as the GBD Study 2013 that summarizes disease prevalence changes over a longer time horizon from 1990 to 2013 [7].


Financial Times
Accessed 22 April 2017
Special Report Neglected Tropical Diseases
18 April 2017
Neglected tropical diseases affect more than a billion people. These diseases of the poor are notorious for their disabling symptoms. Progress has been slow, but the drug industry and communities are redoubling efforts to eliminate treatable conditions