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What are Neglected Tropical Diseases?

Neglected Tropical Diseases:

India has joined the world to Light Up Qutub Minar as a sign of unity to combat the Neglected Tropical Diseases.

  • The second annual World NTD Day will be marked on 30th January.
  • The people who are most affected by these diseases are often the poorest populations, living in remote, rural areas, urban slums or conflict zones. Neglected tropical diseases persist under conditions of poverty and are concentrated almost exclusively in impoverished populations in the developing world.
  • Lacking a strong political voice, people affected by these tropical diseases have a low profile and status in public health priorities.
  • Lack of reliable statistics and unpronounceable names of diseases have all hampered efforts to bring them out of the shadows.
  • Neglected tropical diseases affect more than 1 billion people, primarily poor populations living in tropical and subtropical climates.
  • They are frequently clustered together geographically and individuals are often afflicted with more than one parasite or infection.
  • More than 70% of countries and territories that report the presence of neglected tropical diseases are low-income or lower-middle-income economies.
  • Infections are caused by unsafe water, poor housing conditions and poor sanitation.
  • Children are the most vulnerable to these diseases, which kill, impair or permanently disable millions of people every year, often resulting in life-long physical pain and social stigmatization.

The National Health Policy (2017 )sets an ambition to stimulate innovation to meet health needs and ensure that new drugs are affordable for those who need them most, but it does not specifically tackle neglected diseases.

  • The National Policy on Treatment of Rare Diseases (2018)includes infectious tropical diseases and identifies a need to support research on treatments for rare diseases. It has not yet prioritised diseases and areas for research funding or how innovation would be supported.

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