Health For AllWho is the 51st country recognized by WHO for eradicating neglected tropical...

Who is the 51st country recognized by WHO for eradicating neglected tropical diseases?

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Geneva- 20 June 2024- The World Health Organization (WHO) congratulates Chad for having eliminated the gambiense form of human African trypanosomiasis, also known as sleeping sickness, as a public health problem. It marks the first neglected tropical disease to be eliminated in the country.

The WHO acknowledged Chad as the first country in 2024 to eliminate a neglected tropical disease, making it the 51st globally and marking the first step beyond the midpoint towards the 2030 target of 100 countries. The 100-country target is one of the four global overarching targets set by the Road map for neglected tropical diseases 2021–2030.

“I congratulate the government and the people of Chad for this achievement. It is great to see Chad join the growing group of countries that have eliminated at least one NTD. The 100-country target is nearer and within reach” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

Sleeping sickness can cause flu-like symptoms initially but eventually causing behaviour change, confusion, sleep cycle disturbances or even coma, often leading to death. Improved access to early diagnosis and treatment, as well as surveillance and response has proven that countries can control and eventually eliminate transmission.

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“The elimination of the gambiense form of human African trypanosomiasis in Chad reflects our commitment to improving the health of our people. This achievement results from years of dedicated efforts by our health workers, communities, and partners. We will continue this momentum to tackle other neglected tropical diseases and ensure a healthier future for all Chadians” said Hon. Dr Abdel Modjid Abderahim Mahamat, Minister of Health, Chad.

As of June 2024, across the WHO African region, 20 countries have eliminated at least one neglected tropical disease, with Togo having eliminated 4 diseases and Benin and Ghana having eliminated 3 diseases each.

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