WHO reports great progress in the fight against tropical diseases

Dengue fever, sleeping sickness and the like: advances in the fight against tropical diseases
Especially in the poor developing countries in Africa, Asia and South and Central America, billions of people are at risk of sometimes fatal infectious diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) is now reporting great success in the fight against numerous tropical diseases. The infection rates are falling.

Great success in the fight against tropical infectious diseases
In the past, the World Population Foundation pointed out that around 1 million deaths per year are caused by malaria, dengue fever and other diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks or flies. Numerous organizations and states have been trying to suppress dangerous infectious diseases, especially in the poor countries of Africa, Asia and South and Central America, for years. Experts are now reporting great success in this area.

Protects millions of people from health damage
According to the AFP news agency, the World Health Organization (WHO) has had great success in fighting 18 serious tropical diseases.

In recent years, "unprecedented progress" has been made against these long-neglected diseases through coordinated efforts by the WHO with aid organizations and pharmaceutical companies.

"Thanks to one of the most effective partnerships in public health care, millions of people have been saved from harm to health and poverty," said WHO director Margaret Chan.

Poor patients without access to therapies
According to the information, two billion people were still at risk from these diseases in 2010, now there are still 1.6 billion. Around 170,000 people still die of them every year.

As stated in the agency report, these diseases are diseases such as dengue fever, sleeping sickness or the parasitic Guinea worm.

There are effective therapies for their treatment, but these are often not accessible to mostly poor patients.

Treated a billion people
WHO, governments and pharmaceutical companies agreed on a joint fight against these diseases in the London Declaration in 2012. Since then, the companies have provided several hundred million treatment doses each year.

According to AFP, a billion people were treated for at least one of these diseases in 2015.

The WHO has had great success with some of the worst diseases. In the past year, only 25 cases of infections with the Guinea worm, which eats through the body of the infected, were registered.

In 1989 there were 900,000 people infected. According to the WHO, the disease could now be completely eradicated.

She also reported success with sleeping sickness. The number had dropped from 37,000 cases in 1989 to 2,804 in 2015. Here too, an eradication of the disease is within reach.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, whose foundation plays a leading role in the cooperation, spoke of the results as a "milestone in global health" that had been achieved through joint and coordinated efforts. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Doctor fights neglected tropical diseases. DW News (January 2022).