are endemic in tropical or subtropical region, most of which are
communicable. Among many diseases in the tropical region, WHO is
strengthening its efforts to control 8 major diseases.
are malaria, schistosomiasis, African sleeping sickness, Chagas
disease, leishmaniasis, filariasis, onchocerciasis, and leprosy.
The burden of tropical diseases is unacceptably high. The impoverished
and marginalized people are too often the hardest hit. Disease causes
sickness, incapacity disfigurement and death. It shortens lives,
reduces the ability to work and to attend school, and puts a brake
on national aspirations for economic advancement. No matter where
they originate, tropical diseases have the potential to spread as
more people travel and as the environment changes; some of their
infections are being found in areas beyond the tropics. The tropical
diseases of most concern affect more than 500 million people in
the world, and cause an estimated 2-3 million deaths every year.
Half of humanity lives in the tropical regions and is therefore
at risk from these diseases which may be old and long-entrenched
or newly re-emerging. Unless the death and suffering that they cause
can be reduced, the future prospects of families, communities and
whole nations will be severely compromised.