DOH eyes end to tropical diseases

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THE Department of Health (DOH) plans to eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) by 2030 as it committed to collaborative efforts with other government sectors. The World Health Organization defines NTDs as a diverse group of communicable diseases in tropical and sub-tropical conditions in 149 countries. High risk groups include people who can not afford proper sanitation, those who live near livestock and domestic animals and in close contact with infectious vectors. Identified NTDs in the Philippines include leprosy, rabies, schistosomiasis, filariasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis and food and water-borne diseases. Health Secrerary Paulyn Jean Ubial said “10 out of 28 provinces have reached the goal of eliminating schistosomiasis as a public health problem; 35 out of 45 endemic provinces have eliminated lymphatic filariasis; 41 areas were declared rabies-free and 17 out of 79 surveyed provinces have reduced the prevalence of soil transmitted helminthiasis to less than 20 percent while leprosy maintained the national elimination at less than one per 10 thousand population” as of 2016.

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