15 plus Years of Progress Fighting Neglected Tropical Diseases

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) refers to a diverse group of parasitic and bacterial diseases that cause significant morbidity and mortality in more than 1 billion people worldwide, which disproportionately affect poor and marginalized populations. These diseases can cause severe disfigurement and disabilities, including blindness, developmental disabilities and malnutrition. These conditions, in turn, can cause both social and economic challenges in the regions where they are most common.

NTDs coexist with poverty because they thrive where access to clean water and sanitation are limited, and people live without protection from disease vectors. NTDs contribute to poverty as well, since they can:

  • Impair intellectual development in children.
  • Reduce school enrollment.
  • Hinder economic productivity by limiting the ability of infected individuals to work.

Fortunately, five of the most prevalent NTDs can be controlled through preventive chemotherapy that has been proven to be safe and effective and that can be delivered in an integrated manner through mass drug administration.

USAID support for NTDs focuses on the scale-up of efficient and sustained preventive chemotherapy in an integrated manner so that global health and development goals for control and elimination of these diseases can be achieved.

USAID Neglected Tropical Diseases Program targets the most prevalent neglected tropical diseases that have proven, cost-effective health interventions.

Graphic: Lymphatic Filariasis
Lymphatic Filariasis
Graphic: Trachoma
Graphic: Onchocerciasis
(river blindness)
Graphic: Schistosomiasis
(snail fever)
Graphic: Soil Transmitted helminths
Soil Transmitted helminths
(hookworm, roundworm, whipworm)

USAID has become a global leader in large-scale implementation of integrated treatment programs for NTDs. Over the past 17 years, the U.S. Government has leveraged $29.9 billion in donated medicines, resulting in the delivery of more than 3.1 billion treatments to approximately 1.6 billion people through our integrated programs.

In addition to controlling and eliminating disease, the USAID NTD Program supports strengthening the scientific and program evidence base, supporting sustainable country-led programs, and expanding partnerships.