$34 Billion Needed to Fight NTDs: WHO

LONDON: The World Health Organization (WHO) called on developing countries on Thursday to invest $1 per person per year until 2030 to tackle 17 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and improve the health and well-being of more than 1.5 billion people.

Forecasting a total of $34 billion needed to fight NTDs for the next 16 years, the WHO said governments whose people are blinded, disfigured and killed by such diseases should recognize the great potential human and economic return on tackling them.

“Increased investments by national governments can alleviate human misery, distribute economic gains more evenly and free masses of people long trapped in poverty,” WHO director-general Margaret Chan said in a report.

The investment would represent as little as 0.1 percent of current national health spending of the low and middle-income countries affected by NTDs, the WHO said, and could also encourage international donors to increase aid.

NTDs such as river blindness, rabies, guinea worm and elephantiasis cause disfigurement, disability and death among millions of poor people in developing countries.
Also among the 17 being targeted by the WHO are Human African trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness — a parasitic infection spread by tsetse flies that is almost 100 percent fatal without prompt diagnosis and treatment — and dengue.

(Source: ArabNews.com)

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