Neglected tropical diseases
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a diverse group of diseases caused by a variety of microorganisms including viruses, bacteria and parasites that thrive in the hot and humid climate of tropics and having different modes of transmission. More than a billion people across the world, mostly living in the low- and lower-middle-income countries, are affected by the NTDs. Among six WHO regions, South-East Asia Region bears the second highest burden of these debilitating infections and at least one NTD is endemic in each of the Member States of the region. NTDs prevalent in the region include: lymphatic filariasis, Kala-azar or visceral leishmaniasis, leprosy, soil transmitted helminthiasis, yaws, rabies, blinding trachoma, schistosomiasis and dengue fever.
Elimination of targeted diseases is a regional priority and one of the seven flagship programmes of the Regional Office. Achievements in the region include elimination and interruption of transmission of yaws in India, elimination of lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem in Maldives and Sri Lanka.