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Challenges to global control and/or elimination of NTDs: threats of animal reservoirs of human infections

Daniel Boakye


Successes achieved in the fight to eliminate guinea worm infections and advances in diagnostics and donation of safe and reliable medicines have led to optimism that some of the parasitic diseases grouped as the neglected tropical diseases (NTD) could be eliminated.

These NTDs particularly those amenable to preventive chemotherapy (PC-NTDs) have been targeted for either elimination as a public health problem or elimination of transmission by the Year 2020.These are lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil transmitted helminthiasis and trachoma. Various challenges are being posited as hurdles that could derail the attainment of the targets set. These are mostly related to the distribution of medicines (geographical and therapeutic coverages), the presence of systematic non-compliant individuals in the endemic populations and appropriate diagnosis to determine infection levels after years of drug administration.