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‘World’s Neglected Tropical Disease Day’

  • Category
    Public Health
  • Published
    13th Feb, 2020

The first-ever edition of "World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day"(World NTD Day) is launched on 30 January 2020. This initiative brings together various civil society organisations, community leaders, global health experts and policymakers working in the field of NTDs.

Context

The first-ever edition of "World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day"(World NTD Day) is launched on 30 January 2020. This initiative brings together various civil society organisations, community leaders, global health experts and policymakers working in the field of NTDs.

About Neglected Tropical Diseases:

  • Neglected tropical diseases(NTDs) are a diverse group of communicable diseases that prevail in tropical and subtropical conditions in 149 countries.
  • NTDs are a diverse set of bacterial, viral, and parasitic pathogens that collectively cause significant illness and debilitation, primarily in impoverished communities of low and middle-income countries.

Types of Neglected Tropical Diseases:

  • Dengue: A mosquito-borne infection caused by dengue virus by Aedes mosquitos.
  • Rabies: A preventable viral disease transmitted to humans through the bites of infected dogs that is invariably fatal once symptoms develop.
  • Trachoma: A chlamydial infection transmitted through direct contact with the infectious eye or nasal discharge, or through indirect contact with unsafe living conditions and hygiene practices, which left untreated causes irreversible corneal opacities and blindness.
  • Buruli ulcer: A debilitating mycobacterial skin infection causing severe destruction of the skin, bone and soft tissue.
  • Yaws: A chronic bacterial infection affecting mainly the skin and bone.
  • Leprosy: A complex disease caused by infection mainly of the skin, peripheral nerves, mucosa of the upper respiratory tract and eyes.
  • Chagas disease: A life-threatening illness transmitted to humans through contact with vector insects (triatomine bugs), ingestion of contaminated food, infected blood transfusions, congenital transmission, organ transplantation or laboratory accidents.
  • Human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness): A parasitic infection spread by the bites of tsetse flies.
  • Leishmaniases: Disease transmitted through the bites of infected female sandflies that in its most severe (visceral) form attacks the internal organs and in its most prevalent (cutaneous) form causes face ulcers, disfiguring scars and disability.
  • Taeniasis and neurocysticercosis: An infection caused by adult tapeworms in human intestines; cysticercosis results when humans ingest tapeworm eggs that develop as larvae in tissues.
  • Dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease): A nematode infection transmitted exclusively by drinking-water contaminated with parasite-infected water fleas.
  • Echinococcosis: Infection caused by the larval stages of tapeworms forming pathogenic cysts in humans.
  • Foodborne trematodiases: Infection acquired by consuming fish, vegetables and crustaceans contaminated with larval parasites.
  • Lymphatic filariasis: Infection transmitted by mosquitoes causing abnormal enlargement of limbs and genitals from adult worms inhabiting and reproducing in the lymphatic system.
  • Onchocerciasis (river blindness): Infection transmitted by the bite of infected. It can lead to visual impairment and permanent blindness.
  • Schistosomiasis: Trematode infections transmitted when larval forms released by freshwater snails penetrate human skin during contact with infested water.
  • Mycetoma: A chronic, progressively destructive inflammatory skin disease which usually affects the lower limbs.

NTD & the case of India:

  • India tops the number of cases for 11 different neglected tropical diseases such as lymphatic filariasis, visceral leishmaniasis, trachoma, tapeworm, roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, dengue and leprosy.
    • WHO data shows that 58% of the newly diagnosed leprosy cases in the world in 2018 were in India. This despite the fact that India officially eliminated leprosy in 2005, reducing its prevalence rate to 0.72 per 10,000 people at the national level. 
    • In 2017, there were around 2.8 million new cases of TB, which brought down the global decline of TB. One-third of all TB deaths worldwide happen in India.

Why a ‘World Day’? 

  • World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day will bring together civil society advocates, community leaders, global health experts and policymakers working across the diverse NTD landscape, and unify partners behind our common goal: to #BeatNTDs. For good. For all.
  • 30 Januaryis the anniversary of the landmark 2012 London Declaration on NTDs, which unified partners across sectors, countries and disease communities to push for greater investment and action on NTDs.
  • World NTD Day will not only honour this incredible show of support but inspire and rally partners each and every year.
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