Back to search

Neglected Tropical Diseases


Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a diverse set of 20 diseases caused by different groups of pathogens (virus, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, helminths, toxins) that affect populations living in poverty. Approximately 1.8 billion people worldwide live in areas where they are transmitted. NTDs have been chronically overlooked by global policymakers and donor agencies but grouping them as a single entity of high morbidity diseases that are preventable and treatable with relatively simple, low-cost control interventions has facilitated the expansion of control measures which in 2020 reached over 800 million individuals.

Five core interventions are recommended by WHO for the control of NTDs: preventive chemotherapy, innovative and intensified disease management, vector control, veterinary public health measures and provision of safe water and sanitation.

The WHO Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases has been preparing guidelines and recommendations for NTD control and conducting advocacy and technical support activities to promote control and elimination of NTDs in countries where they are endemic.

More information

Book Chapter