Neglected Tropical Diseases


Neglected tropical diseases remain a major public health concern for most developing countries, especially in West Africa. By the end of the last decade, advocacy for integrated control of different NTDs had grown on the premise that integration is both feasible and cost-effective.

International public health organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), and countries have developed guidelines on the integrated management of neglected tropical diseases through the treatment and coordinated use of medicines in all epidemiological and medical settings, including those where there is a more or less limited geographic overlap. In addition, integration can also involve another aspect: linking intervention packages to routine health care delivery.

Neglected tropical diseases (NTD), including malaria, are causes and consequences of low socio economic development. NTDs represent a significant burden in low-income countries. They are qualified “tropical” because of their spatial distribution, and neglected because they do not receive sufficient interest and funding, among others.  From the thought of “impossible elimination “ few years ago, the elimination of these diseases are now seen as inevitable in the public health and health care world.



Common characteristics of neglected tropical diseases *

Seven main characteristics are common to neglected tropical diseases:

  • Neglected tropical diseases are a sign of poverty and exclusion, which in turn makes it the bed of these diseases,
  • Neglected tropical diseases affect populations that are not very visible and have little political weight,
  • Neglected tropical diseases do not spread around the world,
  • Neglected tropical diseases cause stigma and discrimination, especially for women and girls,
  • Neglected tropical diseases have a significant impact on morbidity and mortality,
  • Neglected tropical diseases have relatively little interest to researchers ,
  • Effective and realistic solutions exist to combat, prevent and eventually eliminate neglected tropical diseases.

*Sixième Conférence des ministres de la Santé de l’Union Africaine, avril 2013