Neglected tropical diseases: impact of COVID-19 and WHO's response--2021 update/Maladies tropicales negligees: impact de la COVID-19 et reponse de l'OMS--Mise a jour 2021.

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Date: Sept. 24, 2021
From: Weekly Epidemiological Record(Vol. 96, Issue 38)
Publisher: World Health Organization
Document Type: Article
Length: 5,195 words
Lexile Measure: 1650L

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Introduction

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a diverse group of conditions of bacterial, viral, parasitic, fungal and noncommunicable origin. Their epidemiology is complex and are often related to environmental conditions. Many are vector-borne, have animal reservoirs and are associated with complex life cycles: all these factors make their public-health control challenging. WHO estimates that over 1.7 billion people require interventions for at least one NTD, every year.

Despite their diversity, NTDs share a common geographical and social context: their burden is predominantly borne in tropical areas across the globe, and they mainly affect resource-poor communities. The correlation with poverty is so close that these diseases are sometimes referred to as diseases of neglected populations. Such entrenchment among disadvantaged people with little public voice contributes to their neglect.

Conservative estimates indicate that NTDs contribute 19 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), which represents about 1% of the global burden of disease, although with large variation between tropical and non-tropical countries and between developing and developed areas.

There are 5 core strategic interventions that WHO recommends to reduce the burden of these diseases. These are: preventive chemotherapy (PC); individual case management; vector control; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); and veterinary public health.

From 2015-2019, over 1 billion people received one or more of the above interventions for NTDs. As a consequence, great progress has been made to reduce NTD prevalence and incidence. In 2020, special circumstances prevailed, as will be discussed in more detail in this paper.

In January 2021, and after almost 2 years of wideranging consultations, WHO launched the new NTD roadmap for 2021-2030 that provides a framework and actions to drive progress towards a world free of NTDs, contributing during this decade to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through:

* fundamental shifts that put countries, communities and people at the centre of the agenda;

* supportive cross-sectoral actions, such as health, education, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene

* sustaining and accelerating progress towards the 2030 goals.

Furthermore, the roadmap provides opportunities to evaluate, assess and adjust programmatic actions, as and when needed, over the next decade by setting clear targets and milestones.

Another distinct feature of this roadmap is to drive greater ownership by national and local governments, including communities. The overarching 2030 global targets are to:

* reduce by 90% the number of people requiring interventions against NTDs;

* have at least 100 countries having eliminated at least one NTD;

* eradicate 2 diseases (dracunculiasis and yaws);

* reduce by 75% the DALYs related to NTDs.

The roadmap will enable future measuring of progress towards eradication, elimination and control of the 20 NTDs by tracking disease-specific targets. Additionally, the roadmap includes 10 cross-cutting targets relevant to progress in the areas of integration, multisectoral coordination, universal health coverage and country ownership. Examples include a reduction by more than 75% in the number of deaths from vector-borne NTDs such as dengue, and leishmaniasis; 100% access to basic water supply, sanitation and hygiene in areas endemic for NTDs; 75% integrated treatment coverage index for preventive...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A677542599