"Neglected Tropical Diseases Threaten Global Health"

"Illnesses like trachoma and elephantiasis affect billions of people worldwide with severe health consequences, yet are not well-known. What are these neglected diseases and why is climate change making them worse? "

"Millions of people, especially in tropical countries, are infected with neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) every year.

The poorest people in Africa, Asia and Latin America are worst hit. An acute lack of medical care for NTDs not only erodes quality of life for those who fall ill but also harms them economically.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified 20 NTDs as debilitating and sometimes deadly for humans, especially if left untreated. Trachoma, for example, which occurs in many regions of the world, can lead to blindness and lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), a painful swelling of the limbs that can cause permanent disfigurement, affects over 120 million people in 72 countries

Other pathogens such as Chagas disease, transmitted mainly in South America, attacks internal organs, destroys nerve cells and can cause massive heart damage.

NTDs can be easily transmitted via a bug bite, a sandfly sting, or tiny parasites that penetrate the skin of unsuspecting swimmers out for dip in a lake, for instance."

Anke Rasper reports for DW January 30, 2023.


Source: DW, 02/13/2023