Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are the most common diseases of the world’s poor. Spread by insects like mosquitoes and flies, or through contact with contaminated water or soil, these diseases disable and debilitate one in six people worldwide, including half a billion children.
NTDs perpetuate a cycle of poverty that continues from generation to generation.
We fight these diseases because of the horrific impact that they have on poor communities, and because we know they can be beaten by the end of this decade.
Much of the medication to treat the most common NTDs is donated by pharmaceutical companies, making NTD treatment one of the world’s most cost-effective health programs.
Treating NTDs is necessary to ensure that efforts to improve nutrition, education, health and economic productivity are successful. Controlling and eliminating NTDs is critical to ending extreme poverty.
The world is now paying attention to these [neglected] diseases and making progress in unprecedented ways, with ambitious goals, excellent interventions, and growing evidence of multiple benefits for health.
—Director-General of the WHO Dr. Margaret Chan