Consequences of Neglected Tropical Diseases and How are We Fighting Them

Neglected Tropical Diseases are among the top four most dangerous groups of transferable diseases. They can be severely painful, cause irreversible disability and even be the reason for more than 170,000 people every year. The impacts from NTDs like blindness, deformed legs, skin pores, and more lead to social isolation. In children, neglected tropical diseases lead to stunted growth, malnutrition, cognitive impairment, disability to speak, and inability to attend school. NTDs lead to more poverty as it makes people unable to work due to physical problems and social isolation. Many people are not able to work for themselves and they do not have even the support of their family members, which leads to a cycle of poverty. 

According to studies, the treatment of NTD is the only affordable solution for children to be able to attend school and improve their capacity to learn. 

The Global Impact of Neglected Tropical Diseases

  • NTDs have affected over one billion people all over the world, which is about one-sixth of the world’s population. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for a person to have more than one parasite or infection. 
  • At any given time, at least five neglected tropical illnesses impact the whole population of a low-income country. 
  • At least one neglected tropical disease affects 149 countries and territories around the world. 
  • Impairing physical and cognitive development, contributing to mother and child illness and mortality, making it harder to farm or earn a living, and limiting productivity in the workplace are all ways in which NTDs affect the world’s poorest people. In this way, NTDs perpetuate a vicious cycle of poverty and illness among the poor. 

How India is fighting NTDs?

The government of India is totally dedicated to meeting worldwide elimination and control targets for NTDs including Lymphatic Filariasis and Leprosy.

Periodically, in endemic areas, Mass Drug Administration (MDA) rounds are used to distribute free anti-filarial medications to communities at risk. 

In endemic regions, sandflies are prevented from reproducing by vector-control tactics such as Indoor Residual Spraying cycles. Patients with lymphedema and hydrocele are also eligible for government funding to help with morbidity control and disability prevention. 

As a result of the spread of COVID-19, some countries had to temporarily suspend their public health initiatives. In India, there have been setbacks to efforts to eradicate lymphatic filariasis and Leprosy. In response to the threat, India changed course, developed new strategies, and is now emerging stronger than ever. 

Over 70% of MDA-targeted regions still gave out anti-filarial drugs, even after a devastating second wave of the pandemic. 

To ensure COVID-appropriate behavior on the ground, novel approaches were implemented, such as using bowls to give medicines from a safe distance, and interactive dashboards indicated areas of concern in real-time, leading to better planning and implementation. 

How Red Aid India is trying to eradicate Neglected Tropical Diseases

Red Aid India is affiliated with the German Leprosy & TB Relief Association India, aiming to end the existence of neglected tropical diseases from India. We have started an initiative that is solely focused on reducing the burden of neglected tropical diseases from the world. We are helping people in poverty-prone areas by improving their quality of life and supporting their lifestyles. We aim to end physical disability and social exclusion from the lives of infected individuals. 

You can also join us to end the effect of NTDs by donating lifestyle support.

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