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Progress in Combating Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs): U.S. and Global Efforts from FY2006 to FY2013


The term "neglected tropical diseases" (NTDs) was coined by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2003 to describe a set of diseases that are ancient, worsen poverty, and typically impair health and productivity while carrying low death rates. Some NTDs are easily treatable; others are not. While the use of the term "NTDs" has helped to raise awareness about these longstanding health challenges, its use risks simplifying a complicated health challenge. Health interventions to address the array of NTDs vary, but a common factor to an enduring solution to these illnesses is economic development. Industrialized countries, including the United States, have controlled these diseases in their territories by combining drug treatment with the construction and use of improved sanitation, modernization of agricultural practices, and utilization of improved water systems. Neglected tropical diseases are diseases that primarily plague the poorest people in developing countries. Changes in the environment and population flows, however, make industrialized countries, including the United States, increasingly vulnerable to some NTDs, particularly dengue haemorrhagic fever, for which there is no cure.


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