- Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a group of debilitating conditions linked to poverty that can cause blindness, chronic pain, severe disability, disfigurement, and malnutrition.
- 1 in 6 people around the world are infected by NTDs, including half a billion children; another two billion people are at risk. The majority live in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
- Neglected Tropical Diseases cause approximately 534,000 deaths annually.
- NTDs trap families in poverty by preventing children from attending school and severely limiting the economic productivity of adult workers.
- The seven most prevalent NTDs are: the two blinding diseases of onchocerciasis and trachoma; the three soil-transmitted helminthes (worms), hookworm, roundworm and whipworm; schistosomiasis (snail fever); and lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis).
What HKI Is Doing
- There are inexpensive, safe and effective treatments available for Neglected Tropical Diseases. HKI’s challenge is to make the most of every dollar and resource available to control these diseases.
- NTDs are cost-effective to treat: since major pharmaceutical companies have donated NTD medications, the cost of treating one person for all seven major NTDs is approximately 50 cents per year.
- NTD treatment through mass drug administrations offers one of the best ways for poor communities to help themselves out of poverty.
- For two decades, Helen Keller International has been at the forefront of combating the two blinding Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), trachoma and onchocerciasis. One of our core strengths is layering our programs in order to increase impact, and we saw an opportunity to treat other NTDs within current program strategies for only a small increase in cost.
- In several countries, HKI expanded its ivermectin distribution programs (CDTI) that control onchocerciasis to include donated albendazole, which in combination controls lymphatic filariasis (LF).