Accelerating work to overcome the global impact of neglected tropical diseases: a roadmap for implementation

Authors: Savioli,L.; Daumerie,D.
Produced by: World Health Organization (2011)

Efforts to combat the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) reached a turning point in 2007, when global partners committed to support WHO goals by working together in an innovative, flexible and cost-effective way. This roadmap paper represents the next step to eliminate NTDs or at least reduce their impact to minimum levels.

The paper highlights these facts:

  • NTDs are endemic in 149 countries with differing populations, economies, resources, political and legal arrangements, health regulations, traditions, cultures, climates, infrastructure and geographies
  • 90 per cent of all NTDs can be treated with medicines that are administered once or twice annually
  • the most important components of a successful NTD control programme are national awareness of the problem and the inclusion of NTD control in national health plans, supported by adequate budget lines
  • control exemplifies the need for inter-sectoral collaboration among ministries, communities, NGOs and international partners.

WHO recommends certain strategies for the prevention, control, elimination and eradication of NTDs. The selected strategies contain: preventive chemotherapy; intensified case-detection and case management; vector and intermediate host control; veterinary public health at the human–animal interface; provision of safe water, sanitation and hygiene; and strengthening capacity to control neglected tropical diseases.

In addition, the document summarises immediate action points, main targets and milestones to overcome the global impact of NTDs. It recommends that the following be done:

  • finalise strategic plans for a defined list of NTDs
  • leverage resources to expand and reinforce control of vectors and their intermediate hosts
  • encourage WHO to expand pre-qualification activities to essential NTD medicines
  • identify and engage experts to investigate the full costs of NTD control and the benefits to development
  • intensify support for development and implementation of specialised national policies, besides sound management of public health pesticides.

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