Neglected Diseases of Neglected People: The Case for Investing in Neglected Tropical Diseases

Infecting more than 1 billion people globally, the 7 major Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) cause blindness, disfigurement, anemia and cognitive impairment, and yet can be controlled or even eliminated by taking pills once or twice a year.NTDs are not simply neglected in terms of awareness and resource allocation but also in the sense that they affect some of the most neglected communities on the planet – those at the end of the road, those for whom fresh water and hygiene are challenging and those whose access to the health care is limited.

In light of the one year anniversary of The London Declaration, a series of events took place in London this week that that continued to highlight the important role neglected tropical disease (NTD) control and elimination plays on the global health and development agenda.
This month marks the one-year anniversary of the London Declaration—an unprecedented pledge by a group of public and private partners to control or eliminate 10 NTDs by 2020. This includes an uptick in drug donations, research and development and bilateral support for NTD programs around the world.
NTDs are tied to nearly every major global health issue we face today – water and sanitation, HIV/AIDS, malnutrition, maternal and child health, to name a few.

Last Friday, The Hill’s Congress Blog highlighted the innovative ways governments, NGO’s and the private sector are using to aid for global health.

The magnitude of the problem is significant…   
783 million people do not have access to safe water.
2.5 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation.

It’s not easy being a woman in most parts of the world. Women in developed countries like the United States often have their hands full with working full-time, caring for children and managing their households. But if you’re a woman living in one of the world’s poorest regions, the daily tasks required for survival may be next to impossible – especially if you have a neglected tropical disease.

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