Take Action: Neglected Tropical Diseases

Disease warning sign
  • Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of parasitic diseases that cause severe (mental and physical) debilitation but rarely result in death.
  • NTDs are extremely common in many parts of the developing world.
  • Proven, cost-effective solutions can treat and prevent NTDs.

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Source: GiveWell

 
ProgramResultCostMore information
Mass drug administration to control lymphatic filariasisProgram reduces lymphatic filariasis rates$100 prevents 15-85 total years of lymphedema (swollen limbs) and 25-165 total years of hydrocele (swollen scrotum)In-depth evidence review
Mass drug administration to control river blindnessProgram is effective in suppressing the worms that cause river blindness$100 prevents 2.5-14 years of blindness; 3.5-20 years of irritating skin disease; and 3-17 years of impaired visionIn-depth evidence review
SAFE Strategy to control trachomaSurgery reduces the scarring that leads to blindness, and antibiotics reduce infection ratesSurgeries: $100 prevents 1-30 years of blindness and1-30 years of low vision. Other components: highly costly or unknown.In-depth evidence review
Combination deworming programMedications are effective at treating schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths$5 per additional year of school attendance for studentsIn-depth evidence review

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Source: GiveWell

Drug treatment for neglected tropical diseases can be very effective but must be maintained over the long term to be effective. Donors should ask not only about past projects (and evidence that drugs were distributed appropriately) but about plans and budgets for future activities. They should be seeking to understand what additional activities will be undertaken with additional donations.

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Source: GiveWell