June 13, 2017 at 10:26 AM
The World Health Organization Department of Neglected Tropical Diseases has formally recognised scabies as a neglected tropical disease (NTD).
The Strategic and Technical Advisory Group (STAG) for Neglected Tropical Diseases recommended that the NTD department include Scabies and other ectoparasites in their portfolio at the 10th STAG meeting in March.
The STAG made this recommendation based on the recently developed criteria for the adoption of additional NTDs. The criteria stipulate that diseases must i) disproportionately affect populations living in poverty and cause important morbidity and mortality; ii) primarily affect populations living in tropical and sub-tropical areas; iii) be immediately amenable to control, elimination or eradication, and iv) be relatively neglected by research.
The International Alliance for the Control of Scabies supported endemic countries including Ethiopia, Fiji and the Solomon Islands in the submission of a dossier and compendium of evidence for scabies.
The STAG concluded that all four criteria were met for scabies. The formal adoption of scabies as an NTD signifies an important boost to international advocacy efforts and will further facilitate much needed research and development of new disease control solutions, particularly in low-resource settings.
The International Alliance for the Control of Scabies will work with WHO and other partners toward the global control and eventual elimination of human scabies as a public health problem.
The full report of the WHO STAG meeting can be found here.
The WHO NTD disease list can be found here.