World Neglected Tropical Disease Day
Recently the 74th World Health Assembly was organized, in which 30 January was declared as World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Day. The proposal to recognize this day was brought by the United Arab Emirates. It was unanimously accepted by all the representatives. Earlier in the year 2020, World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Day was observed informally.
Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD):
- The ‘Neglected Tropical Diseases’ are a group of infectious diseases. It is often most common in communities living in developing regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The main causes of these diseases are viruses, bacteria, protozoa and parasites.
- People in the region lack access to clean water and safe ways of disposing of human waste, because of which neglected tropical diseases are common in tropical regions.
- The region receives less money for research and treatment in such major diseases as tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS and malaria. Major examples of neglected tropical disease are snakebite poisoning, itching, yawning, trachoma, Leishmaniasis, and Chagas disease, etc.
London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs):
- Representatives of the World Health Organization, World Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and major global pharmaceutical companies, as well as representatives of several national governments, took a decision at the Royal College of Physicians in London to eliminate these diseases between 2021-2030.
New roadmap of World Health Organization (WHO):
- From measuring the process of diseases to measuring effects.
- From disease-specific planning and programming to collaborative work in all areas.
- Detection of Neglected Tropical Diseases status.
- It is to be noted that globally more than one billion people suffer from ‘Neglected Tropical Diseases’.
- These diseases are preventable and can be treated. Nevertheless, these diseases are not ending due to their complex interconnection with poverty and ecosystems, devastating health, social and economic consequences.
- There are a total of 20 types of neglected tropical diseases, affecting more than 7 billion people worldwide. Most of these people are from poor and vulnerable sections. There are 11 neglected tropical diseases in India. These include parasitic diseases like Kala-zar and Lymphatic filariasis.
Indian initiatives for eradication of neglected tropical diseases (NDTs):
- In 2018, India launched the Accelerated Plan for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (APELF) towards eradication of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NDTs).
- In 2005, the governments of India, Bangladesh and Nepal formed a regional coalition supported by the World Health Organization to control Kala-azar (Visceral leishmaniasis).
- India has already eliminated several other neglected tropical diseases (NDTs), including Guinea worm, trachoma and yaws.
Source – Down to Earth