Intended for healthcare professionals


One of world’s poorest countries makes “remarkable” progress on tropical diseases, report says

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 05 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3752
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

Sierra Leone’s “rapid achievements” in tackling neglected tropical diseases are “nothing short of remarkable,” concludes a report from the Overseas Development Institute, a UK independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues.1

Despite being one of the poorest countries in the world and undergoing a brutal civil war from 1991 to 2002, Sierra Leone has seen a 60% decrease in the incidence of onchocerciasis (river blindness) between 2007 and 2009, a 90% decrease in the number of cases of lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) between 2007 and 2011, and a 66% decrease in the incidence of schistosomiasis (snail fever) between 2009 and 2012.

Sierra Leone is doing much better than its richer neighbours, …

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