WHO Unveils Five-Year WASH Plan to Tackle Neglected Tropical Diseases
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The World Health Organization (WHO) announced a five-year plan to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, aiming to accelerate progress in tackling neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

According to a WHO press release, NTDs affect more than one billion of the world's poorest people, and 16 out of 17 NTDs can be addressed effectively through improvements in WASH services, in conjunction with other measures.

World Health Organization (WHO)27 August 2015: The World Health Organization (WHO) announced a five-year plan to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, aiming to accelerate progress in tackling neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). According to a WHO press release, NTDs affect more than one billion of the world’s poorest people, and 16 out of 17 NTDs can be addressed effectively through improvements in WASH services, in conjunction with other measures.

The WHO’s five-year strategy, ‘Water, Sanitation & Hygiene for accelerating progress on Neglected Tropical Diseases: A global strategy 2015-2020,’ will integrate WASH services – including access to safe water, managing human excreta, hygiene improvement and environmental management – with other interventions: preventive chemotherapy; innovative and intensified disease management; vector control; and veterinary public health services. The strategy aims to mobilize WASH and NTD actors to work together towards common targets. It also calls on WASH funders and implementers to pinpoint areas in which NTDs are endemic, and deliver programmes that maximize the effectiveness of WASH interventions for NTD control and elimination.

WASH-related NTDs include: mosquito-borne dengue fever; helminthiasis, which is transmitted through fecal contamination in soil; trachoma, transmitted by eye-seeking flies; and guinea worm disease and schistosomiasis, both of which are spread by waterborne parasites.

In a fact sheet, WHO highlights that both NTDs and poor WASH conditions contribute to poverty, and that access to safe water is essential in treating NTDs. [WHO Press Release] [Publication: Water, Sanitation & Hygiene for Accelerating Progress on Neglected Tropical Diseases: A Global Strategy 2015-2020] [WHO Programme on NTDs] [10 Facts on Tackling NTDs with WASH]

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