Friday, July 12, 2024
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Togo becomes the first country globally to eliminate four neglected tropical diseases

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Togo received an outstanding achievement award as the first ever country globally to eliminate four NTDs during the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee for Africa meeting held in Lomé. Between 2011 and 2022, Togo has successfully eliminated dracunculiasis (Guinea worm disease), elephantiasis (lymphatic filariasis), human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) and trachoma.
NTDs are a group of 20 diseases which are preventable and treatable, but 1.7 billion people around the world still require NTD interventions. Many NTDs debilitate, disfigure and disable. By preventing children from going to school and adults from being able to work, NTDs trap individuals and whole communities in cycles of extreme poverty.
Togo has demonstrated a remarkable record of success. As the first country acknowledged by WHO as having won its fight against four NTDs, it eliminated all four diseases in a span of just eleven years. Togo previously achieved transmission-free status for Guinea worm disease in 2011. In 2017, it became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate elephantiasis as a public health problem and, in 2020, became the first African country to achieve the same status with sleeping sickness.

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