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World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    8th Feb, 2022

Context

World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day (World NTD Day) is observed on January 30 every year.

About

What are Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD)?

  • NTDs are a group of infections that are most common among marginalised communities in the developing regions of Africa, Asia and the Americas. They are caused by a variety of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, protozoa and parasitic worms.
    • NTDs are especially common in tropical areas where people do not have access to clean water or safe ways to dispose of human waste.
    • Examples of NTDs are: snakebite envenomation, scabies, yaws, trachoma, Leishmaniasis and Chagas disease etc.
  • These diseases generally receive less funding for research and treatment than malaises like tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS and malaria.

Theme

  • The 2022 theme is ‘Achieving health equity to end the neglect of poverty-related diseases’. 
    • The 2022 slogan is “From neglect to care”.

Background

  • The first World NTD Day was held on 30 January 2020. 
  • The proposal to recognise the day was made by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 
  • The 74th World Health Assembly endorsed a decision recognizing 30 January as World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day (‘World NTD Day’). 
  • World NTD Day commemorates the simultaneous launch of the first NTD road map and the London Declaration on NTDs on 30 January 2012. 
  • For countries where neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are prevalent and for the global community of partners, this is a new dawn.

NTDs in India

  • India is home to the world’s largest absolute burden of at least 11 of these major NTDs.
  • NTDs are commonly seen to affect people living in poverty and hence, many people in India are afflicted by these diseases every year.
  • The most common NTDs in India: Lymphatic Filariasis, Visceral Leishmaniasis, Rabies, Leptospirosis, Dengue and Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infections (STH).
  • As per WHO data, India ranks number 1 in the number of cases for many major NTDs in the world.
    • However, India has made tremendous progress in controlling many such diseases.
  • Leprosy is no longer a public health concern in the country and mass treatment coverage has also been achieved for Filaria.
  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has highlighted that India has already eliminated several other NTDs, including guinea worm, trachoma, and yaws.
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