Tropical diseases

In the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region, neglected tropical diseases represent a major public health problem. Some diseases such as leishmaniasis are endemic and highly prevalent in most countries while others, such as leprosy, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiases, affect only some countries in the Region or have low prevalence in most of them. Dracunculiasis (Guinea worm) and human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) are only endemic in South Sudan.

Neglected tropical diseases worldwide affect mainly populations in developing countries with millions of new cases every year. The lack of access to health services, low levels of literacy, inadequate nutrition and poor personal hygiene aid the spread of infections. Neglected tropical diseases are rarely given high priority by decision-makers in endemic countries.