deworming programme in Kenya

Last month, saw the launch of a new report, The Economic Case for Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Control and Elimination from the Hudson Institute and the Global Network for NTDs, which cites investment in NTDs is one of the "best buys" in public health; and that focusing on NTDs offers a highly cost-effective intervention with far-reaching macroeconomic and equity benefits.


Infecting more than one billion people globally, the seven major NTDs cause: blindness, disfigurement, anemia and cognitive impairment, and yet treatment which sees that pills are taken once or twice a year could see their control or even elimination achieved.


With estimates as low as $0.50 per person per year, the health and macroeconomic benefits to treating these debilitating diseases quickly outweigh this minimal investment.


NTDs are not simply neglected in terms of awareness and resource allocation but also in the sense that they affect some of the most neglected communities on the planet – those at the end of the road, those for whom fresh water and hygiene are challenging and those whose access to the health care is limited.


Over 600 million school-age children are infected with parasitic worms. School-age children typically have the highest burden of worm infection of any age group with an estimated 400 million worldwide suffering from soil-transmitted helminths and schistosomiasis.


With simple, cost-effective interventions and robust empirical support, the case for controlling and eliminating NTDs is as much about enhancing equity and reducing vulnerability as it is about health.


The findings of the new report lend added weight to a global effort currently underway to tackle the seven major preventable NTDs through drug donations and existing community-level health systems.

Read the original article written by Professor Donald Bundy,from the World Bank Blog, Investing in Health.