Who neglects neglected tropical diseases?: Korean perspective.
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of tropical infectious diseases of poorest people. Of 17 NTDs managed by WHO, two, guinea worm disease (by 2015) and yaws (by 2020) are targeted for eradication, and four (blinding trachoma, human African trypanosomiasis, leprosy, and lymphatic filariasis) for elimination by 2020. The goals look promising but 11 others are still highly prevalent. Soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) are one NTD which prevail over the world including temperate zones. They had been highly prevalent in Korea but are mostly disappearing at present through systematic and sustainable control activity. The successful experience of STH control enables Korean experts to develop many programs of NTD control in developing countries. Several programs of both official development aid and non-governmental organizations are now targeting NTDs. Most NTDs are low in health priority compared to their health threats because they are chronic, insidious, and of low mortality. No one, including the victims, raised priority of NTD control with a loud voice in the endemic field of the diseases. After the millennium development goals declared disease control over the world, NTDs are becoming less neglected globally. Even with limited resources, beginning a sustainable national program is the key for the control and elimination of NTDs. No more neglect, especially no more self-neglect, can eliminate diseases and upgrade quality of life of the neglected people.