Neglected tropical diseases

About neglected tropical diseases

Neglected tropical diseases are a set of 20 diseases that are endemic to tropical and subtropical areas. These diseases affect over 1.7 billion people around the world. Africa accounts for nearly 40% of the global burden.

Learn more about neglected tropical diseases on the World Health Organization website.

Our neglected tropical diseases work

We are helping to defeat neglected tropical diseases through:

  • tracking neglected tropical diseases on the continental ALMA Scorecard for Accountability and Action
  • country neglected tropical disease scorecard tools
  • national End Malaria and NTD Councils and Funds
  • keeping NTDs high on the advocacy and political agenda

Tracking NTDs on the continental ALMA Scorecard for Accountability and Action

In 2017, we worked with the World Health Organisation, Uniting to Combat NTDs and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to introduce an NTD indicator on the continental ALMA Scorecard for Accountability and Action.

This NTD indicator is a composite index for 5 diseases amenable to mass treatment (preventive chemotherapy) – lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil transmitted helminths and trachoma. The NTD indicator is based on the geometric mean of coverage rates for those interventions for which data is routinely reported by countries to the World Health Organization. This indicator has helped raise the progress of NTDs, including enhancing domestic resource commitments.

Learn more about the ALMA Scorecard for Accountability and Action.

Country NTD scorecard tools

National NTD scorecard tools are country-owned and country-led. Each country-level scorecard tool is made up of country selected priority indicators based on national NTD strategic plans.

Country NTD scorecard tools show the progress being made at national and sub-national levels (such as counties or districts) and allows comparisons between sub-national levels, easily identifying areas that are performing well or need additional support. They help leaders and actors at different levels make informed data-driven decisions on NTDs, leading to impact. These scorecards are used to drive action, such as through addressing upsurges, stock-outs, task-shifting and filling resource gaps.

Country NTD scorecard tools have helped to:

  • enhance domestic and partner resource commitments for NTDs
  • increase the number of NTD indicators available through routine health information systems, allowing action to be taken in the real time to address identified bottlenecks

We have supported over 15 countries to develop and implement NTD scorecard tools. We help countries:

  • strengthen and institutionalise their scorecard tools to promote transparent data sharing
  • document country best practices to assist fellow countries
  • share their scorecard tools on the ALMA Scorecard Hub

Learn more about country scorecard tools and the support we provide to countries.

Countries with NTD scorecard tools

National End Malaria and NTD Councils and Funds

We support African countries in establishing national End Malaria and NTD Councils and Funds. These are country-owned and country-led, multi-sectoral forums, convening leaders from government, the private sector, civil society and the community.

Initially, the focus of these funds and councils was on the fight against malaria. Now, some countries – such as Guinea-Bissau – are including neglected tropical diseases as part of their councils and funds. They drive public and private domestic resource mobilisation and support for national NTD programmes and malaria control and elimination programmes.

Learn more about national End Malaria and NTD Councils and Funds.