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Neglected Tropical Diseases On Spotlight

Global Shapers Community Harare hub in partnership with Higherlife Foundation will on Thursday 26th of October 2017 launch a neglected tropical diseases (NTD) Application aimed at driving dialogue action and change towards preventing and ending neglected tropical diseases in Zimbabwe.

In an interview with 263Chat, Global Shapers Community Harare representatives, Abigail Ndooka and Chenai Muchena expressed their commitment to combat neglected tropical diseases which they said affect the poor and impoverished members of society.

Outside of the app, Ndooka said they have been working with the Ministry of Health and Child Care, the END Fund and Higher Life Foundation on a larger effort to raise awareness for the need to eradicate neglected tropical diseases as a public health problem in society.

“The name says it all, these diseases are neglected mainly because they affect the poor and impoverished,

“As Global Shapers Community we have taken it upon ourselves to find a way to combat them and we are working with Higher Life Foundation, END Fund and the Ministry of Health and Child Care in this initiative,” she said.

Neglected tropical diseases are the oldest and most painful infectious diseases affecting over a billion of the world’s most impoverished people and they are responsible for worldwide economic losses due to their disabling impact on people’s lives.

As of 2010, Zimbabwe was affected by four of the five most common NTDs — lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), schistosomiasis (bilharzia), soil-transmitted helminths (intestinal worms) and trachoma.

“Worldwide 1.5 billion people are affected by NTDs and 40% of the 1.5 billion is in Africa. Globally if not treated 500,000 people die from NTDS,

“The most common diseases are intestinal worms, bilharzia, and elephantiasis,” added Muchena.

In 2015, nearly a billion people received treatments donated by pharmaceutical companies for at least one NTD, representing a 36% increase since 2011, the year before the launch of the London Declaration. As more districts, countries and regions eliminate NTDs, the number of people requiring treatment has decreased from two billion in 2010 to 1,6 billion in 2015.

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