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GD07 Skin neglected tropical diseases and global health: migration and integration beyond borders


Skin neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of diseases that present with cutaneous manifestation. There are at least 12 listed diseases included in the list of skin NTDs by the World Health Organization. Among these, some diseases are typically present more commonly in certain geographical locations compared with others. For example, leprosy is more common in the Asian subcontinent and Buruli ulcer in the African region. In this new world with easy global reach due to the ease of travel, skin NTDs are not restricted only to the tropics. Despite the propensity of these diseases to occur in the tropics and among poorer populations, they can be diagnosed in clinics globally. Therefore, all global dermatologists should have a good knowledge of these conditions wherever they are located. So, should we start on a global health topic for all skin NTDs? Travel data from Nepal showed that 3.48 million passengers travelled internationally from Nepalese airports, which included 1.93 million departures and 1.55 million arrivals. Similarly, a total of 105 million passengers arrive in the UK each year. This unrestricted massive travel between countries poses a huge risk of infectious diseases transferring from their countries of origin in the tropics to European countries. Moreover, mutation of the vectors and climate change have made it possible for certain diseases to adapt to colder climates. Leprosy, scabies, cutaneous leishmaniasis and resistant dermatophyte infection are commonly seen in Nepal. All of these diseases can present with varied clinical presentations. So, due to global travellers, diseases of the tropics may not remain only diseases of the tropics, which has been shown in recent years. Can this be an opportunity for a mutual learning experience between countries of the tropics and Europe? The tropics could learn from research conducted in the Western world, and both can work together in controlling NTDs.

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Journal Article
Parajuli N