It’s been a year since the World Health Organization released a road map to stop the spread of neglected tropical diseases by 2020. What has been its progress so far?
Based on a newly released report, there’s reason to be optimistic.
WHO reports a hike in donations, which has enabled the group to expand the delivery of preventive chemotherapy, particularly for helminthiases and trachoma. It also noted “impressive progress” in ending dracunculiasis. Eradicating the disease, according to WHO, would result into a 29 percent jump in economic returns for the agricultural sector of countries where it is no longer endemic.
Among the biggest obstacles to the success of the road map: armed conflicts and population displacement. Violence not only disrupts delivery of preventive care and sufficient disease management and surveillance but also endangers the lives of health workers and hampers access to treatment.