WHO states that the new global strategy has the potential to eliminate most of the neglected tropical diseases
The World Health Organization's second report on neglected tropical diseases which was published recently says that, the renewed momentum has shifted the world closer to eliminating many of the conditions that take their greatest toll among the poor. Thanks to the new global strategy, a regular supply of quality-assured, cost-effective medicines and support from global partners.
One of the highlights of the report include the fact that in 2012, dengue ranked as the fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease, with an epidemic potential in the world, registering a 30-fold increase in disease incidence over the past 50 years. The report says that the world needs to change its reactive approach and implement sustainable preventive measures.
Support from those countries endemic for these diseases and partners have helped fast-track actions and initiatives that are now having a measurable impact in affected countries and considerable scaling up of preventive chemotherapy. In 2010 alone, 711 million people received treatment for at least one of the four diseases targeted for preventive chemotherapy which include lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiases.
Dr Margaret Chan, director-general of WHO says, "The challenge now is to strengthen capacity of national disease programs in endemic countries and streamline supply chains to get the drugs to the people who need them, when they need them."
Over the next five years, WHO projects that the treatment for schistocomiasis (bilharzia) will reach 235 million people. This will be achieved by increasing availability of medicines (praziquantel) using gifts of medicines and improved distribution at country level.