His Excellency John A. Kufuor, NTD Special Envoy for the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases
Africa is often the focus of the global development agenda, from HIV/AIDS to economic growth, yet across the continent millions of people are also suffering from a little known group of parasitic and bacterial infections called neglected tropical diseases – or NTDs.
More than one in six people worldwide, including 500 million children, are infected by NTDs – and half that burden is here in Africa. Often transmitted through insects, water or soil, NTDs blind, starve and disable.
They ostracize people from their communities and prevent them from leading productive lives. South Africa is affected by two of these diseases: schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthes (STH).