Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of parasitic and bacterial infectious diseases that affect more than 1.7 billion of the world’s most impoverished people, including more than 1 billion children. Over 40% of the global NTD burden is concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, where the END Fund focuses the majority of our work.
The impact of NTDs
NTDs rank among the four most devastating groups of communicable diseases. They cause severe pain and long-term disability and lead to death for more than 170,000 people per year. Effects from NTDs such as deformed legs and blindness results in social isolation. Amongst children, infection leads to malnutrition, cognitive impairment, stunted growth, and the inability to attend school. Social isolation and physical ailments make working difficult for people with NTDs. Many people are unable to provide for themselves or their families and are left in a cycle of poverty.
Studies show that NTD treatment is the single most cost effective means of improving children’s attendance and increasing capacity to learn and concentrate in school. Just 50 cents funds a rapid-impact package of medication to treat an individual for the five most common NTDs, making it a best buy in public health.