Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

What We Do

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a group of chronic, disabling, and disfiguring diseases. There are 17 that the World Health Organisation has identified as needing attention.

Leprosy is one of them.

The impact of Neglected Tropical Diseases is huge. They tend to impact vulnerable people—usually those who are indigenous or live in extreme poverty or conflict areas. They are common in Africa, Asia and the Americas. They impair physical and cognitive development in children, complicate pregnancies, make it difficult for people to farm or earn a living, limit productivity in the workplace, and can even cause death. As a result, they can keep millions of people in a cycle of poverty.

With 400 million school-aged children throughout the developing world infected by Neglected Tropical Diseases, treatment is also the single most cost-effective way to boost school attendance, educate the next generation of workers and improve developing economies.

When we fight Neglected Tropical Diseases, the results are highly significant because treatments are generally cheap. But unfortunately, these diseases are not very visible to the developed world. Aid agencies tend to overlook them. Aid often favours the “big three”: HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis, and malaria. But Neglected Tropical Diseases cause 500,000 deaths and cost developing countries billions of dollars every year. In fact, the combined years that people lose to Neglected Tropical Disease-related illness, disability and death are the same as the combined losses of the “big three”.

People affected by these diseases are among the poorest of the world. Treating and rehabilitating those suffering from them is a global responsibility and one that all people can support.

Neglected Tropical Diseases (including leprosy) affect over 1.7 billion people globally. The Leprosy Mission, in partnership with others, seeks to ‘end the neglect’.

Ending the Neglect

NTDs, although diverse in their clinical presentation, have a singular commonality: their devastating impact on impoverished communities.

They affect the poorest, most marginalised, and voiceless communities, and disproportionately affecting children, women and people with disability.

They are treatable and preventable diseases.

The Leprosy Mission and our global partners seek to End the Neglect.

Working alongside the WHO Global NTD Roadmap

The WHO Global NTD Roadmap ‘Ending the neglect to attain the Sustainable Development Goals: a road map for neglected tropical diseases 2021–2030’ is a high-level strategic document and advocacy tool, aimed at strengthening programmatic responses to NTDs through shared goals and disease-specific targets backed by smarter investments.

It pushes for:

Stronger accountability – shifting from process to impact indicators and accelerating programmatic action to improve scientific understanding, planning and logistics, advocacy, and funding, collaboration & multisectoral action

Intensified cross-cutting approaches - integrating delivery platforms; mainstreaming with local health systems; coordinating beyond health; strengthening country capacity; mobilising regional & global resources

A change in operating model and culture – stronger country ownership, improved roles of stakeholders, clearer roles, and responsibilities to deliver on 2030 targets.

TLM are active members of: