Integrating data and resources on neglected tropical diseases for better planning: The NTD Mapping Tool (NTDmap.org).
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affect more than 1,000,000,000 poor and marginalized people worldwide. NTDs are caused by diverse pathogens with differing modes of transmission and a range of vectors and intermediate hosts, which have their own ecological peculiarities. While there is considerable overlap in the geographical distribution of different NTDs at a national level , epidemiological differences of individual NTDs give rise to marked geographical variation at local levels. Since cost-effectiveness of intervention is greatest when targeted to areas having a high burden of multiple diseases, maps of the distribution of the different NTDs are essential for planning and implementing NTD interventions, as well as for providing visualization of program progress, so important for advocacy. In recent years there have been concerted, and very successful, efforts to develop detailed information resources on the geographical distribution of different NTDs.