Medical News and Perspectives
February 22/29, 2012

Collaborative Effort Targets 17 Tropical Diseases for Control, Elimination

JAMA. 2012;307(8):772. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.201

In an effort to control or eliminate 17 neglected tropical diseases, the World Health Organization (WHO) is bringing together national governments, more than a dozen pharmaceutical companies, and philanthropies such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in the largest coordinated effort to date to combat this group of illnesses. WHO estimates that neglected tropical diseases affect more than 1 billion people worldwide, mainly in poor rural areas.

To guide the effort and set targets for what should be achieved by the end of the decade, WHO has published a new strategy, Accelerating Work to Overcome the Global Impact of Neglected Tropical Diseases: A Roadmap for Implementation ( The project comes in response to WHO's 2010 report, Working to Overcome the Global Impact of Neglected Tropical Diseases, which called for new resources to overcome such diseases ( The diseases that are being targeted include dengue, rabies, blinding trachoma, Buruli ulcer, endemic treponematoses (yaws), leprosy, Chagas disease, human African trypanosomiasis, visceral leishmaniasis, cysticercosis, dracunculiasis (guinea worm disease), echinococcosis, foodborne trematode infections, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, and soil-transmitted helminthiases (intestinal worms).

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