WHO claims unprecedented progress against neglected tropical diseases

WHO claims unprecedented progress against neglected tropical diseases

He added: "There are quite a number of new medicines and diagnostics in the pipeline, which may actually further change the perspective for these neglected tropical diseases and hopefully allow us to go further towards eliminating or near eliminating these diseases by 2030".

Responding to the announcement, Bill Gates said: "UK aid and Britain's world-leading research institutions are playing a major role in protecting the world's poorest people from NTDs and enabling them to live healthier, more prosperous lives".

"It's really a story of wonderful progress", the billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates said in Geneva.

These diseases, which include kala azar, leprosy, lymphatic filariasis, intestinal worms such as hookworm, roundworms and whipworms, affect the poor and marginalised, are controllable and curable infections that deform, disable and kill if left untreated. "Part of the reason they have been neglected is because they are in mostly tropical countries", he said.

The report documented one billion people treated for at least one neglected tropical disease in 2015 alone as one of key achievements against NTDs.

"They cause unimaginable suffering and pain to some of the world's poorest people".

Alan Fenwick, a professor of tropical parasitology at Imperial College London, said huge progress had been made in treating and preventing such diseases.

"Good progress, some of these diseases are on track to be done (eliminated) by 2020, some by 2025". Now, the World Health Organization (WHO) is urging pharmaceutical companies to donate more medicines to help completely eliminate diseases.

"So now we can assume that part and focus is on the delivery, the financing for the delivery, the quality of the delivery".

United Nations and USA urge accountability for victims of Sri Lankan peacekeeper abuse
The police operations would, however, continue under a new mission with an initial six-month mandate from October to April 2018. Haiti suffered a two-year political crisis until the recent election and inauguration of Moise as president.

"And for some, such as lymphatic filariasis (a mosquito-borne worm which causes limbs to swell), there's been a big reduction in the population we need to treat - from 1.5 billion to one billion people".

Trachoma is the world's leading infectious cause of blindness and has been eliminated as a public health problem in Oman, Morocco and Mexico over the past 10 years, according to the new WHO report. Looking at the data before and after the World Health Organization published its first plan in 2008, global achievements in reducing neglected diseases went from "pretty stagnant" to "increasing, sequentially, every year, the number of people that have been reached and countries that have achieved their targets", said Jacobson.

"Of 4.9 million people who were at risk of contracting river blindness, 3.4 million of them are now protected".

FILE - A child leads a man affected by river blindness in Gbarnga, Liberia, Sept. 4, 1995.

Dr Caroline Harper, chief executive of Sightsavers, an worldwide charity that fights preventable blindness, said the investment would have a dramatic impact around the world.

"Over the past 10 years, millions of people have been rescued from disability and poverty, thanks to one of the most effective global partnerships in modern public health", says WHO director general Margaret Chan.

She told VOA that a lot has been achieved in the last five years. Not just the current generation, but their children.

The aim of medical interventions, then, is to help people early "because sometimes when you're too late, you can not change much anymore", said Engels.

While recognizing that more remains to be done before these bad diseases are eliminated, Chan said when that goal is achieved "it will be truly, truly awesome".

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