The second WHO report on neglected tropical diseases builds on the growing sense of optimism
generated by the 2012 publication of the WHO Roadmap. Commitments on the
part of ministries of health in endemic countries, global health initiatives, funding
agencies and philanthropists have escalated since 2010, as have donations of
medicines from pharmaceutical companies and the engagement of the scientific
This report marks a new phase and assesses opportunities and obstacles in the
control, elimination and eradication of several of these diseases. Unprecedented
progress over the past two years has revealed unprecedented needs for
refinements in control strategies, and new technical tools and protocols. The
substantial increases in donations of medicines made since the previous report
call for innovations that simplify and refine delivery strategies.
However, some diseases, including especially deadly ones like human African
trypanosomiasis and visceral Leishmaniasis, remain extremely difficult and costly
to treat. The control of Buruli ulcer, Chagas disease and yaws is hampered by
imperfect technical tools, although recent developments for yaws look promising.
The report highlights progress against these especially challenging diseases,
being made through the development of innovative and intensive management
Innovations in vector control deserve more attention as playing a key part in
reducing transmission and disease burden, especially for Dengue, Chagas disease
and the Leishmaniases.
Achieving universal health coverage with essential health interventions for
neglected tropical diseases will be a powerful equalizer that abolishes distinctions
between the rich and the poor, the young and the old, ethnic groups, and women