Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of tropical infections that are either extremely rare or occur in areas of extreme poverty. Because of these characteristics, they are of little strategic interest to commercial pharmaceutical companies, and availability can be limited.

According to WHO, more than 1 billion people suffer from a neglected tropical disease. Therefore, neglected diseases represent a global health burden comparable to that caused by HIV/AIDS, TB or malaria.

In line with our mission to improve access to essential medicines, IDA Foundation has contributed to making medicines available for some “orphan diseases”, including Praziquantel for the treatment of schistosomiasis and Sodium stibogluconate for the treatment of kala azar. One example of our work in this area is a de-worming project done with RTI International. In 2008-2009, IDA Foundation supplied over 28 million de-worming treatments to RTI projects worldwide.

The five most prevalent NTDs are intestinal worms, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, and river blindness.