Ugandans battle neglected tropical disease

Lack of adequate healthcare leaves sufferers of treatable limb-swelling condition in pain and ostracised.



    Health services in northern Uganda are still scarce in the wake of the region's 20-year civil war, leaving many battling diseases that could be cured with proper medical treatment.
     
    Elephantiasis is a widespread disease caused by a parasite that causes limbs to swell up, leaving sufferers in pain and often ostracised from their communities. 

    According to the World Health Organisation [WHO], neglected tropical diseases, such as elephantiasis, affect more than one billion people, primarily poor populations living in tropical and subtropical climates.

    More than 70 per cent of countries and territories that report the presence of neglected tropical diseases are low-income and lower middle-income economies, while 100 per cent of countries considered low-income are affected by at least five neglected tropical diseases simultaneously.

    Neglected tropical diseases

    Infections are attributable to unsafe water, poor housing conditions and poor sanitation. Children are most vulnerable to infections of the most neglected tropical diseases.

    Neglected tropical diseases kill, impair or permanently disable millions of people every year, often resulting in life-long physical pain, social stigmatisation and abuse.

    Many can be prevented, eliminated or even eradicated with improved access to existing safe and cost-effective tools.

    Al Jazeera's Malcolm Webb reports from Northern Uganda.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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