Marking World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day 2022

News | Posted on Tuesday 25 January 2022

The Centre for Applied Human Rights joins the global health community in marking World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day.

Photo credit: Morad Echarkaoui
Photo credit: Morad Echarkaoui

The annual event seeks to raise awareness for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), NTDs are a ‘diverse group of conditions… [that] mostly affect impoverished communities [and] cause devastating health, social and economic consequences’. These diseases adversely impact the lives of more than one billion people living across the world. 

Whilst many are easily preventable, these conditions adversely affect the health, social and economic wellbeing of more than one billion people across the world.

As the third annual World NTD Day is observed on 30 January 2022, the Centre supports calls for noma’s formal inclusion on the World Health Organisation’s list of neglected tropical diseases. Noma is a devastating, gangrenous disease that primarily affects young children living in extreme poverty in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Dr Ioana Cismas, Reader at CAHR and the York Law School, co-coordinated a recent interdisciplinary research project on noma developed in partnership with the Global Health Institute of the University of Geneva and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel and in collaboration with key non-, inter- and governmental organisations. She remarks, ‘Over the past decade, research has converged towards identifying noma’s inclusion in the WHO list of NTDs as a crucial step towards its prevention and treatment’.

Alice Trotter, Principal Researcher on the project, adds, ‘Our work has shown that a human rights approach to noma requires its formal classification as an NTD. It also highlights the importance of survivors’ participation in advocacy and health programming, and a holistic approach supporting the realisation of their socio-economic rights’.