What are Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)?

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What are Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)? Blog Image


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

About Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

  • NTDs are a diverse group of 20 conditions/diseases that are mainly prevalent in tropical areas, where they thrive among people living in impoverished communities. 
  • They are caused by a variety of pathogens (including viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi, and toxins) and are associated with devastating health, social, and economic consequences.
  • These include Guinea worm, Chikungunya, Dengue, Kala Azar (Visceral Leishmaniasis), and Elephantiasis (Lymphatic Filariasis), among others, and India is home to about 12 NTDs.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that NTDs affect more than 1 billion people, while the number of people requiring NTD interventions (both preventive and curative) is 1.6 billion.
  • The epidemiology of NTDs is complex and often related to environmental conditions. Many of them are vector-borne, have animal reservoirs, and are associated with complex life cycles. All these factors make their public-health control challenging.
  • Global Initiative to end NTDs: The WHO’s new road map for 2021–2030 calls for three strategic shifts to end NTDs:
    • From measuring process to measuring impact.
    • From disease-specific planning and programming to collaborative work across sectors.
    • From externally driven agendas reliant on programmes that are country-owned and country-financed.

Q1) What is Chikungunya?

It is a viral disease transmitted to humans through the bites of mosquitoes infected with the chikungunya virus. It is most commonly transmitted by mosquitoes, Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti and Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus, which can also transmit dengue and Zika viruses. There is currently no approved vaccine or specific treatment for chikungunya virus infections.

Source: World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day 2024