World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day

More than one billion people worldwide are at risk of illness, disfigurement, disability, and even death from neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Especially in the poorest regions of the world where access to clean water, sanitary facilities and health care is restricted for many people, viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi or even poisonous snakes have an easy game. The consequences are serious diseases such as river blindness or sleeping sickness, dengue fever, leprosy, or the effects of snakebites. Since these diseases rarely endanger people in industrialised countries or travellers, they are often neglected in terms of funding for research and therapies.

Africa is one of the regions where neglected tropical diseases occur as “widespread diseases”. “They are often among the most common causes of disease in the affected countries,” says the deputy coordinator of the DZIF research area Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, Prof. Achim Hörauf from University Hospital Bonn.

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