Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a diverse group of communicable diseases which almost covers 20 diseases that are caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses, fungi, and arthropod that affects the poor population living in rural and semi-urban settings (WHO, 2018). NTDs causes significant health and financial burdens across the underdeveloped nations. These diseases affect the world’s most vulnerable populations, almost exclusively poor and powerless people living in rural areas and urban slums of low-income countries. Their impact on individuals and communities is devastating. Many of them cause severe disfigurement and disabilities, including blindness. Many are transmitted directly from person to person, while others require insect and snails’ vectors. NTDs coexist with poverty because they thrive where access to clean water and sanitation is limited, and people live without protection from disease vectors. The NTDs also are recognized as a contributor to poverty since they can impair intellectual development in children, reduce school enrolment and hinder economic productivity by limiting the ability of infected individuals to work.
The neglected tropical diseases result from four different causative pathogens:
NTD and Nigeria
|Virus||Protozoa||Helminth||Bacteria||Other neglected conditions|
|Dengu||Chaga disease||Cysticercosis / Taeniasis||Buruli ulcer||Chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM)|
|Rabie||Human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)||Dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease)||Leprosy (Hansen disease)||Mycetoma|
|Leishmaniases||Echinococcosis||Trachoma||Nodding Syndrome (NS)|
|Foodborne Trematodiasis||Yaws (Endemic Treponematoses)s||Podoconiosis|
|Onchocerciasis (river blindness)||Snakebite|
Nigeria is made up of six geopolitical zones comprising 36 States, a Federal Capital Territory (Abuja), and 774 Local Government Areas. There are about 350 ethnic groups with three predominant ones. The petroleum sector is the mainstay of the Nigerian economy and contributes 36% to the annual GDP, 75% of government revenue and accounting for virtually all foreign exchange earnings. However, with the recent announcement that Nigeria has the highest number of poor people with over 70% of Nigerians live below the poverty line without access to quality and affordable health services and other basic social services. The socioeconomic burden and morbidities due to NTDs in Nigeria will be aggravated if the
current situation if not managed in an integrated manner.
According to the reports from the World Health Organization (WHO, 2019), out of 20 currently recognized NTDs, Nigeria is endemic to 14 of them (Table 1). Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa with a population of over 190 million people, and annual growth rate of close to 3.0%. This makes Nigeria the most endemic country, not only in Africa but worldwide for many NTDs, such as schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis and soil transmitted helminthiasis to name a few. Although there are national programmes funded by government and donor agencies to control some of these NTDs, however, these programmes are faced with the challenges emerging from operational, implementation researches, basic and social sciences researches to help guide the control and elimination of NTDs in Nigeria.
The magnitude of NTDs burden in Nigeria is so high that supportive evidence-based data are urgently needed and timely, to help NTDs stakeholders at all levels, including academics and policy makers if we are to make progress in NTDs control. This is imperative to meet the UN sustainability development goal 3.3 which says, “By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases”.
Giving the quantum of researches that is currently ongoing within the NTDs community in Nigeria, there is the need to provide a focus platform where NTDs research findings and data can be presented, discussed and shared with policy makers and control programme managers for implementation. It is a known fact that all NTDs related researches and publication from Nigeria are currently subsumed in mainstream local and international journals where it is hardly noticed by policy makers and/or program managers. The control of NTDs should not only be a top priority for Nigeria but a platform for cutting-edge dissemination of NTDs researches. The conference focus would be twofold: Leaving no one behind for any NTD and harnessing the potential in the academics to assess progress being made in the control and elimination of NTDs. The context, therefore, will be the current focus on some NTDs to the detriment of others, the emphasis on MDA to the detriment of other control efforts that will reach those not requiring chemotherapy, absence/inadequate endemicity/prevalence data for some NTDs, inadequate resources to track progress and unavailability of more precise tools to track progress, as well as alternative and cost-effective approaches to monitor progress towards elimination.
Status of Neglected Tropical Diseases in Nigeria
|NTD||Estimated number of cases||Sources||Ranking in the World|
|Buruli Ulcer||Endemic but number of current cases unknown||FMOH, 2015||Not determined|
|Chaga Disease||Not Endemic||–||–|
|Dengue and Chikungunya||Dengue is Endemic, but the status of Chikungunya unknown||Adeleke et al. 2016-||Not determined|
|Dracunculiasis (guinea worm)||Eradicated||FMOH, 2015|
|Echinococcosis||Suspected||Angheben et al., 2017|
|Food borne Trematodiasis |
(Fasciola and Paragonimus)
|Endemic but number of cases unknown|
|Human African Trypanosomiasis||Endemic but number of cases unknown||FMOH, 2015||Not determined|
|Leishmaniasis||Suspected||FMOH, 2015||Not determined|
|Leprosy||4531 registered prevalence||Hotez et al., |
|Lymphatic filariasis||106 million||FMOH, 2015||3rd|
|Mycetoma, Chromoblastomycosis |
and other deep Mycoses
|Onchocerciasis||31 million||FMOH, 2015||1s|
|Rabies||Endemic but number of cases unknown||FMOH, 2015||Not determined|
|Scabies and other ectoparasites||Endemic but number of cases unknown|
|Schistosomiasis||13 – 29 million||Ekpo et al, 2013||1st|
|Soil transmitted helminthiasis |
(Ascariasis, Trichiasis, Hookworm)
|5.7 million||Oluwole et al., 2015||4th or 5th|
|Snakebite envenoming||Endemic but number of cases unknown|
|Taeniasis/Cysticercosis||Endemic but number of cases unknown|
|Trachoma||18 million||Hotez et al, 2012||Not determined|
|Yaws (Endemic Treponematoses)||Endemic but number of cases unknown|