More Funding Needed For Tropical Diseases, WHO SaysMain Category: Tropical Diseases
Article Date: 17 Jan 2013
Tropical diseases that were once overlooked, are now receiving more attention from pharmaceutical companies and the government, but also require more funding and innovation.
Diseases that are uncommon in the U.S. such as:
In a new report, the WHO (World Health Organization) announces that they have seen groundbreaking progress in regards to these tropical disease, thanks to an international strategy that includes a regular supply of inexpensive, quality-assured medicines, and support from international partners.
The new strategies have brought us closer to the complete removal of many of these illnesses that are particularly devastating in the world's poorest regions.
Reports Show Progress As Well As New GoalsThe report reveals significant progress in combating, terminating and eradicating these neglected tropical diseases. Specifically, dracunculiasis (guinea worm disease) and yaws, are due for global eradication in 2015 and 2020 respectively.
In addition, there are six goals set for the removal of five diseases in 2015 and 10 more goals for nine diseases for 2020, either internationally, or in specific geographical regions.
Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO commented:
"With this new phase in the control of these diseases, we are moving ahead towards achieving universal health coverage with essential interventions. The challenge now is to strengthen capacity of national disease programs in endemic countries and streamline supply chains to get the drugs to the people who need them, when they need them."
Medicine donations and extra funding by several global partners have aided in swift action and measures that are now having a considerable impact in affected countries with a broader scale of precautionary chemotherapy interventions. Of note is the universal delivery of single-dose, safe, quality medications as preventive treatments against five helminthiases and trachoma (chlamydial infection).
In 2010, 711 million people had treatment for at least one of the four diseases covered by preventive chemotherapy.
Coverage Planned to IncreaseThe WHO believes that treatment for schistosomiasis (bilharzia) will expand to 235 million people over the next five years. This will be achieved through better availability of treatments with donated medicines, as well as organized distribution on regional levels.
Dr. Chan adds:
"The prospects for success have never been so strong. "Many millions of people are being freed from the misery and disability that have kept populations mired in poverty, generation after generation, for centuries."
Other report highlights include:
In January of 2012, a similar report released by the WHO announced targets of eliminating 10 neglected tropical diseases by the end of the decade.
Written by Kelly Fitzgerald
Copyright: MediLexicon International Ltd
Original article posted on Medical News Today.
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