Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a diverse group of communicable diseases affecting 1.5 billion people worldwide. These preventable and treatable diseases cause severe pain, stigma and disfigurement while killing over 170,000 people and costing developing economies billions of dollars every year. They disproportionately affect the most vulnerable, marginalized people in the poorest, most remote communities around the world.
Among populations in need, the African Region bears 39% of the total global burden of NTDs and, of this, 90% is accounted for by five diseases treated through regular preventive chemotherapy (PC-NTDs) in a mechanism called mass drug administration (MDA). These are lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, soil-transmitted helminthiases, schistosomiasis and trachoma.
Up to 44 countries in the African region are endemic for at least 1 PC-NTD, 42 for at least 2 PC-NTDs and 17 for all the 5 PC-NTDs.