Public welfare, Gender and health care

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Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

Uganda has 12 endemic NTDs namely: Onchocerciasis (River Blindness) with over 1.98 million people infected in the west Nile region, central shores of lake Albert, Mount Elgon and foci in southwest Uganda , Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia) with over 5.26 million cases particularly near the shores of lakes Albert and Victoria and along the Albert Nile, Lymphatic Filariasis (Elephantiasis) with approximately 2.9 million individuals infected and over 2,000 with deformities in North of the Victoria Nile and in Western Uganda, Soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH), Human African trypanosomiasis (Sleeping sickness) with 712 cases reported in Northwest Uganda, Buruli ulcers with approximately 550,000 cases recorded since 2010, Tungiasis (Jiggers), Dracunculiasis (Guinea worms) with over 75,223 cases , Plague, Rabies, Trachoma with 1.6 million people infected of which 2,000 are partially blind and 1,000 are blind, Leishmaniasis with 600 cases treated per year in North-East Uganda .
The Pop at risk /each PC NTDs: Schistosomiasis: 3,866,814, STH: 5,400,000; Onchocerciasis: 943,025, LF: 4,850,766; Trachoma: 9,910,845. More than 10 million people, 12% of the country's population suffer from one or more NTDs. These diseases affect the country's' most vulnerable populations, almost exclusively poor and powerless people living in rural areas and urban slums of low-income societies. Their impact on individuals and communities is devastating. Many of them cause severe disfigurement and disabilities including blindness.

 

It's found that these diseases predispose individuals to poor mental health. This is partially due to the social stigma that surround NTDs, but is also likely caused by the subsequent lack of access to health and social services. Overall, being a member of the infected community is found to cut individuals off from multiple aspects of society via civic rights, educational opportunities, and employment. More research has to be directed into the psychological aspects of neglected tropical diseases in order to fully untangle their co-effects. These diseases are the responsibility of government but little has been done towards these diseases. Currently, the pharmaceutical industry views research and development as highly risky when it comes to NTDs. For this reason, resources are not often put into the field of NTDs (as diseases of the poor).

 

Prevention and eradication are important because "of the appalling stigma, disfigurement, blindness and disabilities caused by NTDs. Establishing a biological research institute into neglected tropical diseases is important and prevention supplemented as a social and development outreach. Other attempts to alleviate some of the surrounding factors (such as poverty, poor sanitation, overcrowding, poor healthcare etc.) greatly exacerbate the conditions brought on by NTDs. GRONET will strengthen the goal of sustained eliminations, rather than quickly addressing symptoms.