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February 2021

Neglected Tropical Diseases

By | Mosquitoes | No Comments

Neglected tropical diseases, some of which are insect-borne, affect approximately 1.7 billion people and remain a threat, even with resources being reallocated to fight the current pandemic.  This group of diseases, known collectively by the World Health Organization (WHO) as ‘Neglected Tropical Diseases’, or NTDs, can cause terrible suffering around the globe. Fortunately, some of them can be prevented or cured.

Neglected Tropical Diseases - Graph

Neglected Tropical Diseases

The NTDs include Chagas disease, leprosy, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), yaws, trachoma, filariasis/elephantiasis, intestinal worms, dengue, chikungunya, onchocerciasis, Guinea worm disease, schistosomiasis, scabies, schistosomiasis, snakebite envenoming, and a few others.  About half of the NTDs are transmitted by insect bites, especially mosquitoes.

5 Highlights of Dangerous Insect-Borne Diseases

  • The number of people impacted dropped from 2.0 billion in 2010 to 1.7 billion in 2017.
  • These diseases blind, disable, and disfigure people, keeping children out of school and adults out of work so the economic burden is stifling.
  • NTDs are found primarily in poorer populations in tropical and sub-tropical areas of Africa, Asia, and South America.
  • Since a WHO ‘roadmap to eradication’ was developed in 2012, 42 countries have eliminated at least one NTD.
  • It is the goal of WHO to have a 90% reduction in people requiring treatment for NTDs in the next 10 years. This is to be done by providing safe and available drugs, and through aggressive vector control.

It is easy to forget that billions of people in the world are still impacted by diseases, many of them vector-borne, and that somewhere between 750,000 and 1 million people still die from malaria every year.  And as world travel continues to increase at an astounding rate, the risk of infection and disease goes up!

Captain Stan Cope (aka the Mosquito Man) is our Vice President of Technical Services and blogs frequently on mosquitoes. In addition to his social media content you can find his blog archives here:

Neglected Tropical Diseases – Additional Resources

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