Lesser-known tropical diseases affect a fifth of people and can ravage a person’s health and wellbeing, and devastate communities. Dr Caroline Harper, CEO of Sightsavers, explains how relatively simple and inexpensive interventions can be used to eliminate these diseases when stakeholders come together to take action.
“Neglected tropical diseases can cause lifelong disabilities, chronic pain and, in some cases, total sight loss.”
One of the most effective and achievable ways that countries can ensure their citizens are as healthy as they can be, and promote wellbeing for all, is by eliminating a group of previously little-known diseases which needlessly devastate lives. The impacts are life-changing; the difference between a life of pain and isolation and one of greater opportunity.
What are NTDs?
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of parasitic and bacterial infections affecting around one billion – or one in five – people across the world. They became known as ‘neglected’ because historically, they did not spark the same public attention or investment as other epidemics such as malaria or Ebola. Also, they affect some of the poorest or neglected communities in the world, where sanitation is poor and families must travel long distances to reach healthcare services, if they can afford them at all…
Dr Caroline Harper
Chief Executive Officer, Sightsavers