30 January, 2024
World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day, observed annually on January 30, sheds light on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and the suffering associated with NTDs. Untreated NTDs presently threaten mortality, infirmity, blindness, disfigurement, or disability to 1.7 billion individuals worldwide. The most severely impacted are the impoverished segments of society, women, and children.
NTDs are mainly prevalent in tropical and low-income areas. For instance, leishmaniasis is prevalent in eastern Africa, the tropics, Peru, and Colombia. However, recently there have been reports of isolated epidemics of neglected tropical diseases in Europe, such as Leishmaniasis outbreaks in Germany.
Since 1998, the European Vaccine Initiative (EVI) has been committed to the development of vaccines that are both safe and affordable, specifically targeting diseases associated with poverty and emerging infectious diseases. At present, EVI is leading the PREV_PKDL initiative, dedicated to advancing the clinical development of the ChAd63-KH vaccine candidate, aiming to prevent visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and post-kala azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL). In addition to its work on leishmaniasis, EVI has contributed to pre-clinical research for vaccines against dengue, chikungunya, and onchocerciasis through the European vaccine research infrastructure project TRANSVAC.
World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day stands as a resolute reminder of the ongoing battle against these often-overlooked diseases. This year with the theme UNITE.ACT.ELIMINATE, it calls on governments, NGOs, and global health advocates to come together in collective effort, commitment, and cooperation to amplify awareness and mobilize resources for the eradication of NTDs worldwide.
Read more about the Neglected tropical diseases here: https://worldntdday.org/