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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 134-135

Neglected tropical diseases: The present status and the planning for the future


1 Vice-Principal Curriculum, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication14-Jan-2020

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu District, Tamil Nadu - 603 108
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jcrsm.jcrsm_23_19

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Neglected tropical diseases: The present status and the planning for the future. J Curr Res Sci Med 2019;5:134-5

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Neglected tropical diseases: The present status and the planning for the future. J Curr Res Sci Med [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Jul 12];5:134-5. Available from: http://www.jcrsmed.org/text.asp?2019/5/2/134/275781



Dear Sir,

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) encompass a group of diseases which predominantly affect rural communities with poor socioeconomic status and those who live beyond the reach of the health sector.[1],[2] These diseases are being recognized as one of the major public health challenges as it affects hard-to-reach and marginalized population groups.[2] Considering the fact that the world's population is exposed to environmental and social alterations at an extraordinary rate and that the repercussions have been observed at all levels, it is bound to affect the prevention and control measures against these NTDs.[1],[2],[3]

Nevertheless, the available estimate does suggest that we have made considerable progress as evidenced by the fact that close to 1 billion people received treatment in 2015 alone, with the highest coverage for lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis.[3] Further, significant decline in the incidence of Guinea worm disease and sleeping sickness has been reported.[3] In addition, diseases such as trachoma and visceral leishmaniasis have been eliminated from some of the nations, all of which indicate that we are moving in the right direction.[3]

Moreover, millions of people have been saved from disability owing to the concerted efforts and the involvement of multiple sectors.[3],[4] This all, we have been able to achieve due to the sustained political commitment, donations of drugs by involved agencies, and significant improvement in the living conditions of people who are residing in disease-affected regions.[2],[3],[4] In addition, due to the support of different local and international agencies, the National Health Ministries have succeeded in the provision of long-term care and rehabilitation services.[3] While we can be happy about the gains achieved so far, it is extremely important to note that we have to be consistent in our efforts to eventually meet the targets set for NTDs under the sustainable development goals.[2],[3],[4]

There is a major scope to improve the water supply, sanitation facilities, and a better vector control response.[3] Simultaneously, we have to prioritize the veterinary public health services so that we can have better control of these diseases.[3] In addition, there is a big-time need to intensify preventive chemotherapy for better disease control and achieving the elimination of other NTDs.[4] Further, we have to strengthen the surveillance services so that precise estimates are available to enable us to take evidence-based decisions.[2] The need of the hour is to develop holistic national action plans and support the same with research activities and adequate technical, financial, and human resources.[1],[5] The best thing will be to have integrated efforts and also adopt innovative and local measures to meet local challenges.[3],[4]

In conclusion, despite significant progress made in the prevention and control of the NTDs, a lot needs to be done to make sustained progress.



 
  References Top

1.
Michael E, Madon S. Socio-ecological dynamics and challenges to the governance of neglected tropical disease control. Infect Dis Poverty 2017;6:35.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Recommending measures to address the public health concern of neglected tropical diseases. MAMC J Med Sci 2015;1:173-5.  Back to cited text no. 2
  [Full text]  
3.
World Health Organization. Unprecedented Progress against Neglected Tropical Diseases. World Health Organization Reports; 2017. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/19-04-2017-unprecedented-progress-against-neglected-tropical- diseases-who-reports. [Last accessed on 2019 Jun 11].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Expanding the coverage of preventive chemotherapy for the prevention and control of neglected tropical diseases. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1415-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
  [Full text]  
5.
Booth M, Clements A. Neglected tropical disease control – The case for adaptive, location-specific solutions. Trends Parasitol 2018;34:272-82.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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