Integrating neglected tropical diseases into global health and development: fourth WHO report on neglected tropical diseases evaluates the changing global public health landscape; assesses progress towards the 2020 targets; and considers the possible core elements of a strategic vision to integrating neglected tropical diseases into the 2030 Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Advances have been made through expanded interventions delivered through five public health approaches: innovative and intensified disease management; preventive chemotherapy; vector ecology and management; veterinary public health services; and the provision of safe water, sanitation and hygiene. In 2015 alone nearly one billion people were treated for at least one disease and significant gains were achieved in relieving the symptoms and consequences of diseases for which effective tools are scarce; important reductions were achieved in the number of new cases of sleeping sickness, of visceral leishmaniasis in South-East Asia and also of Buruli ulcer.
The report also considers vector control strategies and discusses the importance of the draft WHO Global Vector Control Response 2017–2030. It argues that veterinary public health requires a multifaceted approach across the human–animal interface as well as a multisectoral programme of work to protect and improve the physical, mental and social well-being of humans, including veterinary, water, sanitation and hygiene.
Integration of activities and interventions into broader health systems is crucial, and despite challenges, has the potential to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage while advancing the 2030 Agenda.
In short, this report drives the message home that “no one must be left behind”.