About Neglected Tropical Diseases and Three Major Infectious Diseases

Elimination of Tropical Diseases

Neglected Tropic Diseases (NTDs) include 21 diseases that the WHO identifies as tropical diseases which human race must overcome. More than 1.6 billion people living in the poorest and most marginalized communities worldwide are exposed to the risk of NTDs infection. The spread of NTDs is mainly caused by poor hygienic conditions associated with poverty. Infections from these diseases may result in serious physical impairment and this often results in normal economic and social activities becoming highly challenging to the individual. In the worst cases, NTDs may also result in death. The prevalence of NTDs is a stumbling block to economic growth for developing and emerging countries and represents a serious issue for these regions.

What Are the 21 Neglected Tropical Diseases?

For details on these 21 diseases, please click on any of the boxes to open a new window.

See Details on Three Major Infectious Diseases

The London Declaration: A United Front to Eliminate and Eradicate NTDs

The first step toward eradicating NTDs was selecting target diseases to be eliminated and then launching an international united front of governments and pharmaceutical companies.
On January 30, 2012, 13 major pharmaceutical companies*1 including Eisai, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the WHO, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID), the World Bank, and the governments of NTD-endemic countries jointly issued the London Declaration, forming a united front to control and eliminate 10 NTDs by 2020. As the largest international public–private partnership to combat NTDs at that time, the London Declaration aims to control and eliminate NTDs by committing to working collaboratively in an effort to comprehensively tackle issues pertaining to drug supply, distribution, development, and implementation programs as it seeks to more effectively combat NTDs. Since the London Declaration, the pharma industry has contributed to the elimination of NTDs via supply of medicines which resulted in donation of 14 billion high-quality treatments. Tremendous achievements have been made through NTDs elimination activities of public-private partnership. Forty-six countries have eliminated at least one NTD and 600 million people no longer require interventions against NTDs. Despite such progress, more than 1.6 billion people remain threatened by NTDs and continuous coordinated effort through strong partnership is needed.

  • *1
    Abbvie, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eisai, GlaxonSmithKline, Gilead, Johnson & Johnson, Merck (Merck KGaA: Germany), Merck Sharp & Dhome, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi
  • *2
    Dracunculiasis (guinea worm disease), lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, African sleeping sickness (African trypanosomiasis), leprosy, soil-transmitted helminthiasis, schistosomiasis, Onchocerciasis (river blindness), Chagas’ disease, and leishmaniasis

From London Declaration to Kigali Declaration

As the successor of the London Declaration on NTDs launched in 2012, the Kigali Declaration represents a collective commitment from stakeholders to fight against NTDs and was announced at the Kigali Summit on Malaria and NTDs in June 2022 in Kigali, the capital of the Republic of Rwanda. It aims to meet the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.3 target on NTDs and achieve the WHO’s road map for NTDs 2021-2030 eradicating two NTDs, eliminating at least one NTD in 100 countries and decreasing the number of people requiring interventions for NTDs by 90%. Through people-centered approach by multi-sectoral partnerships, the Declaration strives to tackle NTDs comprehensively and sustainably by sustaining a multisectoral and multidisciplinary approach, strengthening country ownership including establishment of local health system and domestic financing, accelerating research and development of treatments and diagnostics for NTDs, and ensuring equitable access to these NTDs related products and services.