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Estimates from the WHO suggest that at least 1 billion people , nearly a
sixth of the world's population, suffer from one or more neglected
tropical diseases , such as Buruli Ulcer, Cholera, Cysticercosis,
Dracunculiasis, Trematodal Infections, Hydatid disease, Leishmaniasis,
Lymphatic Filariasis, Onchocerciasis, Schistosomiasis, Helminthiasis,
Trachoma & Trypanosomiasis. Often people affected by these are
socially and economically deprived. The public health systems in the
countries where these diseases are commonly seen are also much stretched
for resources. Funding for further research in management of these
diseases is limited and essentially comes from public and government
sectors and hence is likely to remain limited. Private sector and the
pharmaceutical companies are unlikely to invest hugely into research in
these diseases as they are not expected to be financially rewarding.
Charitable foundations will therefore need to take the lead in providing
the much required boost to increasing awareness and encouraging more
research in prevention and management of tropical infective diseases.