Neglected tropical diseases: now more than just 'other diseases'--the post-2015 agenda.

International health

PubMedID: 24969646

Molyneux DH. Neglected tropical diseases: now more than just 'other diseases'--the post-2015 agenda. Int Health. 2014;6(3):172-80.
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) have become recognised as important health problems facing at least a billion people in the low-income countries and the poorest communities in middle-income countries. WHO plays a leading role in developing strategies to address these diseases, pharmaceutical companies provide drug donations to treat or control the NTDs and many partners from different constituencies have become increasingly committed to their control or elimination. This review looks to the post-2015 agenda and emphasises that despite the progress made over recent years, if the targets established are to be achieved, then not only will additional financial resources be required to up-scale treatments and increase access, but increased applied and operational research will be necessary to address problems and human capacity in NTD skills will need to be strengthened. Continuing advocacy for the relevance of control or elimination of NTDs must be placed in the context of universal health coverage and access to donated essential medicines for the poor as a right. The evidence that investment in NTD interventions are cost-effective and impact not only on health, but also to enhance socio-economic development, must be refined and promulgated. The global burden of disease attributable to NTDs requires reassessment to appropriately define the true burden, while the potential for unexpected events, political, climatic, environmental as well as biological, have the potential to reduce future progress towards the agreed post-2015 targets. NTD progress towards the WHO Roadmap targets and the fulfilment of the World Health Assembly Resolution 66. 12 of 2013 demand continued commitment from all partner constituencies when challenges emerge.