About 800 participants from 86 countries are expected to attend, in person and online, the first global meeting on skin-related neglected tropical diseases (skin NTDs), hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on 27-31 March 2023. The meeting will be conducted in English, French and Spanish.
Skin diseases are the third most prevalent cause of illness and one of the top 10 causes of disability. They are also among the 10 most common causes of outpatient visits and are often associated with long-term disability, stigmatization and mental health problems. Of the 20 neglected tropical diseases, at least 10 present with skin manifestations.
“This meeting is timely as we resume full programmatic activities after more than three years of COVID-19-related disruptions,” said Dr Socé Ibrahima Fall, Director of WHO’s Global NTD Programme. “Integration is one of the NTD road map’s key strategic cross-cutting shifts and will help us achieve the 2030 targets for all NTDs. It will also help us play an important role in strengthening primary health care.”
Skin NTDs are widely prevalent in tropical and sub-tropical regions and include Buruli ulcer; cutaneous leishmaniasis; mycetoma, chromoblastomycosis and other deep mycoses; leprosy (Hansen’s disease); lymphatic filariasis; onchocerciasis; post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis; scabies and other ectoparasitoses (including tungiasis); and yaws. They all require similar detection and case-management.