30 Jan – Recognising Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

Children living in communities plagued by Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
Image by Edmund Lou, obtained from https://unsplash.com/photos/dcPThE8G59E.

What is World NTD Day?

World NTD Day raises awareness about Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). It aims to encourage people across the world to contribute resources to facilitate NTD programmes and to #EndTheNeglect.

What are NTDs?

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) comprise a list of 20 diseases (as of 20th January 2022 from WHO website) that can blind, deform and disfigure. Since they have common effects, they are grouped together under NTDs.

NTDs are common in impoverished tropical and subtropical countries around the world, where sanitation and healthcare are rarely accessible. These diseases are considered to be “neglected” as they are not common in the Global Health Agenda. Hence, they receive little funding and are linked to social stigma. NTDs trap affected communities in an endless loop of poor health and limited income.

Who’s affected by NTDs?

NTDs affect more than 1.7 billion people around the world (more than ⅙ of the world’s total population)! Some of the most affected countries include Africa, Egypt and Indonesia.

Who’s involved in the movement?

The movement is led by local political representatives in the affected countries. Member states of WHO also help to implement and ensure that healthcare ministries are committed to defeating NTDs.

WHO is currently providing NTD programmes with necessary funding to understand the diseases better.

What’s being done to help?

WHO encourages countries to merge the healthcare systems for the affected population with that of the general public. They will provide resources for the merger. WHO has also recommended changes to various global healthcare systems. This will allow each country to take more ownership of the diseases that are present locally.

Supportive networks are also being established for affected communities. This provides social support, addresses stigmatisation and offers vocational training to help affected individuals assimilate into society.

Since 2012, 43 countries have successfully eliminated 1 NTD. One of WHO’s targets is to have at least 100 countries eliminate 1 NTD.

Click here to view the timeline of NTD programmes.

Equity in Healthcare:

Ultimately, WHO aims for equity in 3 areas:

(The following is taken directly from WHO website as of 20th January 2022: https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-ntd-day/world-ntd-day-2022/key-messages)

1. Equity in access

  • Free or affordable access to NTD services should be available to everyone in need.

2. Equity in care

  • The burden of NTDs should be fully addressed, including treatment, management of disability, and doing away with stigma and social exclusion.

3. Equity in recognition

  • It is essential to acknowledge everyone’s contribution to defeating NTDs – from community volunteers to policymakers.

What can we all do to help?

We are sharing this because the best way to combat these diseases is to #EndTheNeglect. Simply sharing your newfound knowledge with family and friends goes a long way. 

Make every day an NTD Day. Let’s help end the neglect of poverty-related diseases!


This blog is by Medihelp247 – a free platform that allows healthcare providers and seekers to connect directly.

Written by Isaac Ang
Edited by Andrea Lim and Bryan Lim

4 thoughts on “30 Jan – Recognising Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)”

  1. A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment.
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    a taboo subject but generally folks don’t discuss these subjects.
    To the next! All the best!!

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