Amid Neglected Diseases is a Neglected Solution – By Helen Hamilton
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are called neglected for a reason: they’re widespread, painful and debilitating and, at times deadly diseases that prey on the poorest people; yet most are preventable.
Soil-transmitted helminths – intestinal worms such as hookworm, roundworm and whipworm – infect 1.5 billion people, more than half of whom are children¹. Schistosomiasis is endemic in 70 developing countries, with the vast majority of individuals infected located in Sub-Saharan Africa². 190 million people are at-risk of developing trachoma – a disease that is the single most preventable cause of blindness worldwide³ and responsible for an estimated $2.9 to $6 billion in global losses in productivity annually.
These are just three of over 20 diseases that make up this grouping of NTDs which take a devastating toll on human health, quality of life, livelihoods and national economies, particularly for those in the bottom billion, across 149 countries.
Amidst the devastation brought on by these neglected diseases is a neglected solution. Strong evidence shows that access to safe, sustainable and reliable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions plays a critical role in preventing transmission.
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