India working towards eliminating tropical diseases: Official

By Indo Asian News Service | Monday, December 23, 2013 | 6:36:17 PM IST (+05:30 GMT) Comment 0 Comment

New Delhi, Dec 23 (IANS) The Indian government is working with all stakeholders as well as the community towards controlling and eliminating 17 identified Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) such as rabies, leprosy and Japanese encephalitis, a health ministry official said Monday.

New Delhi, Dec 23 (IANS) The Indian government is working with all stakeholders as well as the community towards controlling and eliminating 17 identified Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) such as rabies, leprosy and Japanese encephalitis, a health ministry official said Monday.

NTDs are a group of tropical infections which are especially endemic in low-income populations in developing regions of Africa, Asia and the Americas.

"India has supported the London Declaration of 2012 and has joined other member nations at the World Health Assembly this year to adopt a resolution for controlling, eliminating and eradicating 17 identified NTDs. The Indian government is working with all stakeholders and the community towards meeting these objectives," said Anshu Prakash, joint secretary in the health ministry.

Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) director general Ranjana Smetacek said: "For India to achieve its ambitious NTD goals, we must work with other sectors to ensure communities have access to clean water, sanitation, improved living conditions, vector control and stronger health systems in endemic areas."

The need to eliminate and control the NTDs was discussed during a meeting of experts from Global Health Progress, OPPI, and International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), a release said here.

Globally, NTDs affect over one billion people, are more prevalent in rural areas and predominantly affect the poorest and most marginalized communities.

With 58 percent of leprosy cases, 40 percent of lymphatic filariasis and 34 percent of all dengue cases, India shoulders a high burden of several NTDs.

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