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VETERINARY peer, Lord Trees, initiated a debate on the subject of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in the House of Lords on February 1. He asked the Government what assessment had been made of the effects of NTDs in impairing social and economic development in developing countries in the light of the publication of the third progress report of the 2012 London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Drawing attention to the ‘huge global health and socioeconomic importance’ of NTDs, Lord Trees said that, while some caused high mortality, most NTDs were characterised by their chronicity and the high levels of disability that they caused. More than one billion people were affected by NTDs in 149 countries worldwide, he said, and it was estimated that some 300,000 deaths annually were caused by NTDs. However, until recently, these diseases had received modest international attention and support, particularly when compared to diseases such as HIV, TB and malaria.
In 2012, the World Health Organization had published a ‘road map’ for the control, elimination or eradication of 17 NTDs by 2020 and further commitments had been made in the London Declaration in 2012 In 2015, the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals to 2030 had included NTDs within the goal aimed at ‘healthy lives’ and ‘wellbeing for all’ people, he said.