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Ochieng Andrew, a community Health Mobilizer, examining Losur Emmanuel, a suspected Kala-azar patient in Lopedot Village in Amudat, Uganda. Copyright: Lameck Ododo, 2023.

World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day is observed every year on 30 January

Did you know?

  • There are 21 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in the world, including elephantiasis, sleeping sickness, mycetoma, dengue fever, kala-azar, and leprosy.
  • NTDs are also called ‘diseases of poverty’ because they predominantly affect people living in poor and marginalized communities.
  • NTDs are considered neglected because they don’t receive sufficient attention in the global health agenda, receive little funding, and have historically been ignored in pharmaceutical research.
  • Africa accounts for nearly 40% (400 million people) of the global burden of NTDs.
  • In 2022, Uganda eliminated the T.b. gambiense form of sleeping sickness as a public health problem.
  • Since 2003, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) has developed 13 new treatments for six deadly neglected diseases.


Dr. Anthony Eriatu is the Head of Lwala Hospital in Kaberamaido District, Uganda. “Today we find sleeping sickness in specific villages, often located in one household. Typically, patients present like malaria, but they’ll have a tsetse fly mark and the antimalarials they take don’t work. They also will come in with symptoms that seem like meningitis, stiff neck, enlarged lymph nodes.” For this reason, Lwala Hospital tests all patients for HAT and malaria. Copyright: Emmanuel Museruka.
Amna Yousif Mohamed Ali during a clinical visit at the Mycetoma Research Center in Khartoum, Sudan. Amna Yousif comes from Gezira, in the east-central region of Sudan, one of the hotspots of mycetoma. Copyright: Lameck Ododo
Doudou Faye, Patient suffering from mycetoma at the regional hospital of Thies, Senegal. Copyright: Mamadou Diop, DNDi
Emebet Abem Adera, Laboratory Technologist and Researcher runs samples at the Leishmaniasis Treatment and Research Centre at the University of Gondar, Ethiopia. Copyright: Sydelle Willow Smith.
Trapped sand flies at the KEMRI laboratory in Kenya. Kala-azar is a life-threatening disease that is fatal in 95% of cases if left untreated. It’s caused by Leishmania parasites which are transmitted by female sandflies. Copyright: Rowan Pybus, DNDi
Loro Parish Chief Mr Partany Samuel from Katabeya Village. He was diagnosed with Kala-azar in 2001 when he was 11 years old and treated at Amudat Hospital, Uganda, but later got reinfected in 2006. He later developed Post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) and was put on treatment for the third time. Copyright: Lameck Ododo
5-year-old Chenangat Chelime a kala-azar patient, with her father William Lumuget at the Kacheliba Sub-County Hospital, Kenya. Kala-azar treatment requires hospital admission for 17 days. Copyright: Lameck Ododo
The Mycetoma Research Centre in Khartoum, Sudan. It is one of the world’s leading centres on research and management for mycetoma. For the past 28 years, it has provided quality medical care for mycetoma patients mainly from Sudan but also from several other countries, including Chad and Yemen. Copyright: Lameck Ododo.
Tablets of Fexinidazole, a drug that was used in a clinical study in Malawi and was found to be highly effective in treating the T.b. rhodesiense form of sleeping sickness. Copyright: Lameck Ododo.
Matrida Gondwe, sleeping sickness survivor breastfeeding her daughter Grory Mwanza inside her house in Mpherembe in Malawi. Her village is near the Vwaza Game Reserve, where the community bears the brunt of the disease, caused by parasite Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, commonly harboured by wild animals and spread by the tsetse fly. Copyright: Lameck Ododo
Prof. Ahmed Fahal examines Adam Mohamed Abdulkarim Ahmed, a Mycetoma patient during the latter’s clinical visit to the MRC. Adam’s left foot was extremely affected by the disease and had to be booked for amputation. Copyright: Lameck Ododo.
Professor Joseph Olobo, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology (Emeritus), Makerere University, Uganda and one of East Africa’s leading researchers in the field of Kala-azar. Copyright. DNDi
Dr Borna Nyaoke, head of Mycetoma Disease at DNDi consulting Penda Mbaye suffering from mycetoma at the regional hospital of Thies, Senegal. Copyright: Mamadou Diop.
Photos of the thorns that cause mycetoma used as a fence in a field in Louga, Senegal- Copyright: Mamadou Diop
Doctors in the DRC rely on several clinical tests to determine if patients are suffering from the troubling and at times perplexing neurological symptoms of sleeping sickness. Patients also have a hard time balancing a piece of paper on their hands. Copyright: Xavier Vahed.
Caption: Nurse Eunice Abeda going through the steps of melarsoprol administration at Lwala Hospital, a national reference centre for sleeping sickness in Uganda. Copyright: Emmanuel Museruka



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The post 🔴 In Pictures: WORLD NEGLECTED TROPICAL DISEASES (NTD) DAY 2024 appeared first on The Independent Uganda:.


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