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Medical Ethics Series: Neglected Tropical Diseases   Tags: medical ethics, neglected tropical diseases, tropical medicine  

Last Updated: Jan 6, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Neglected Tropical Disease Resources

  • World Health Organization-Tropical Diseases
    WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-Neglected Tropical Diseases
    CDC works 24/7 keeping America safe from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and domestic. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights it and supports communities and citizens to prevent it. CDC is the nation’s health protection agency - saving lives, protecting people from health threats, and saving money through prevention.
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - Global Health Program
    Our work in infectious diseases focuses on developing ways to fight and prevent enteric and diarrheal diseases, HIV/AIDS, malaria, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and neglected and other infectious diseases.

What are Neglected Tropical Diseases?

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a group of parasitic and bacterial diseases that cause substantial illness for more than one billion people globally. Affecting the world's poorest people, NTDs impair physical and cognitive development, contribute to mother and child illness and death, make it difficult to farm or earn a living, and limit productivity in the workplace. As a result, NTDs trap the poor in a cycle of poverty and disease.


West Nile

West Nile Transmission Cycle

Graphic courtesy of the CDC


Neglected Tropical Disease Facts

  • One hundred percent of low-income countries are affected by at least five neglected tropical diseases simultaneously

  • Neglected tropical diseases kill an estimated 534,000 people worldwide every year

  • NTDs are a major cause of disease burden, resulting in approximately 57 million years of life lost due to premature disability and death

  • Individuals are often afflicted with more than one parasite or infection

  • Treatment cost for most NTD mass drug administration programs is estimated at less than US fifty cents per person per year

Statistics courtesy of the CDC




This project has been funded in part with federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, under Contract No. HHSN-276-2011-00007-C with the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library.


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