Neglected Tropical Diseases

1.7 billion people worldwide are currently at risk of incapacity, blindness, disfigurement, disability or death from neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The poorest part of the population, especially women and children, are most affected. Children can only go to school irregularly, women and men cannot work and are stigmatised by their environment. In many cases, it would be possible to treat the sick people successfully.


German network against Neglected Tropical Diseases

But often, in some areas, the medicines, some of which are provided free of charge by the pharmaceutical manufacturers, do not reach the people who need them at all, or only at great expense. The so-called very last mile, i.e. the ultimately few steps in the country, to the village that is not connected to any road, that lies outside the supply radius of the health systems, cannot be overcome.

Research and development in the field of neglected tropical diseases must continue. Innovations - new concepts and treatment methods, diagnostics and the development of new vaccines and drugs are essential to help the affected people.


Only by working together with the national governments of the countries where NTDs are endemic, with their political will and with the support of donors - philanthropic organisations, the wealthy industrialised countries, multilateral organisations such as the WHO and World Bank, pharmaceutical companies that donate the drugs and conduct research, non-governmental organisations that implement NTD programmes - can NTDs be successfully combated or, ideally, even their outbreak prevented.

NTDs and Europe
Recently, isolated outbreaks of NTDs have also been reported in Europe, outside their actual areas of origin: Leishmaniasis occurs particularly in the tropics, Peru and Colombia, and eastern Africa. It is transmitted by the sand fly. Probably due to climate change, sand flies have also been found in Germany and cases of leishmaniasis acquired here have been reported.

In southern France, Croatia, Greece and Madeira, people had contracted dengue fever locally. Dengue fever is transmitted by mosquitoes of the species Aedes (the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti and the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus) in more than 100 countries in the tropics and sub-tropics and is considered the most common mosquito-borne viral disease. Usually, tourists become infected with dengue fever during a stay in Thailand or Indonesia.

Infections with schistosomiasis have also been reported. Travellers had bathed in the river Cavo near Porto Vecchio in South Corsica and contracted the parasites in the water there.

Climate change
Climate change favours the spread of neglected tropical diseases. Extreme weather conditions, heavy rain, floods can trigger epidemics. Mosquito larvae develop faster when it is warm. Researchers from the USA and South Africa have determined how the spread of two mosquito species is affected by changing climates. The mosquito species in question are those that transmit dengue fever, Zika and chikugunya fever. Global warming over the next 30 years could put half a billion more people at risk of tropical diseases due to the changing spread of mosquito species.


Nobel Prize in Economics 2019 to poverty economist Esther Duflo

Stockholm, October 16, 2019. Esther Duflo, Michael Kremer and her husband Abhijit Banerjee received the Nobel Prize in Economics. They are the world's leading scientists in the field of evidence-based development cooperation. In 2007 they launched the Deworm the World Initiative. Since 2013, the initiative has been part of the non-profit organization Evidence Action, which is based in the USA and has offices in Kenya and India.

G-Finder 2018 released

Geneva, January 23, 2019 - The G-Finder report has recorded its latest figures on global investment in research and development for neglected diseases. Germany is increasing its research spending on the health of the world's poorest.

Success in trachoma control

Geneva, June 13, 2018 - Ghana has been officially declared trachoma-free by the World Health Organization (WHO). Trachoma is one of the oldest infectious diseases. It is a highly contagious bacterial disease that is transmitted through contact with the eye fluid. This is often done by flies that are attracted to the eye fluid. After several infections, the inside of the eyelid can become so scarred over time that the eyelid and the lash line grow inwards towards the eyeball, which in turn causes scarring on the cornea. This long, painful process, which can lead to complete blindness, primarily affects children and women. The disease can be prevented through hygiene, clean water and toilets. The infection can be treated with antibiotics and at an advanced stage by eye surgeries. CBM has been involved in the comprehensive fight against trachoma together with its local partner in Ghana since 1995.

World Health Organization (WHO) launched the 4th Report combating NTDs

Geneva. 19.4.2017 – World Health Organization (WHO) launched the 4th Report in tackling neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) since 2007. The report is integrating neglected tropical diseases in global health and development issues.

Will a new 2017 global leadership commit to NTDs?

Experts of PLOS-NTDs are discussing the impact of the politics of the new United Nations (UN) Secretary General, the Brexit, the election of a new World Health Organization (WHO) Director General, finally the role of the politics of the United States Government, which has so far been the largest financier of NTD mass drug administration (MDA), as well as research and development (R&D) for NTDs. They are asking: How shall we advocate? What does our community of NTD scientists, public health experts, and health care providers want this new global leadership to know about our diseases? What should they prioritize? Submissions, emails, and letters are welcome.

Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag towards medicines and NTDs

The Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag published the report on “New Medicines for neglected diseases”.  Result: Germany as one of the leading location for medical R&D re NTDs lags behind compared to several other industrialised countries.

New G-Finder survey launched

Trends and patterns across nine years

The new G-FINDER survey reports on 2015 global investment into research and development (R&D) of new products for neglected diseases.

NTD Summit 2017

19 to 22 April 2017 | Geneva, Switzerland

World Health Organization (WHO) together with Uniting to Combat NTDs, and the NTD community are celebrating the roadmap on NTDs and the London Declaration.