Neglected Diseases

More than 40 million people suffer from lifelong disabilities caused by a group of neglected diseases that affect the poorest and most marginalized people in the world.

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With your support, we are working around the world to find, diagnose and treat people suffering with these terrible diseases:

 

  • Leprosy
  • Buruli Ulcer
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Lymphatic Filariasis
  • Trachoma
  • Yaws
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Buruli Ulcer

  • Caused by bacteria related to leprosy; these bacteria can eat flesh or even bone.
  • May cause deformity, disability, permanent scarring and fatal infections. Severe cases require surgery and skin grafts. 
  • Thousands of cases in 30 countries, mainly in West Africa.
  • Affected people are often ostracized; 50% are children under 15 years old.
  • Curable with antibiotics.

Leishmaniasis

  • Caused by parasites carried by sand flies.
  • Affects some of the poorest people in the world, and is also associated with environmental changes like deforestation, irrigation and dams, or urbanization.
  • Not everyone infected by the parasite develops the disease, but there are still 700,000 – 1 million new cases per year.
  • Can cause skin lesions.
  • Curable with different medications depending on the type of case. 

Lymphatic Filariasis (Elephantiasis)

  • Caused by parasites carried by mosquitoes.
  • The parasites live in the human lymph system, damaging the body’s fluid balance and ability to fight infections. 
  • Fluid imbalance can lead to severe and irreversible lower limb swelling: lymphedema.
  • 36-40 million people disabled worldwide. 
  • Curable with single doses of two medicines.

Trachoma

  • Caused by bacteria carried by people and flies.
  • Affects the eyes and can lead to blindness if left untreated.
  • The leading preventable cause of blindness worldwide: 1.9 million people blind or visually impaired.
  • 85% of people affected live in African nations.
  • Curable with antibiotics.

Yaws

  • Caused by bacteria spread person to person.
  • Causes skin ulcers.
  • Majority of affected populations are in rural, tropical areas. 
  • 80,000 cases reported per year, primarily children under 15 years old. 
  • Curable with antibiotics.