Why neglected tropical diseases matter in reducing poverty

Briefing papers
July 2013
Fiona Samuels and Romina Rodríguez Pose

This working paper, part of ODI's Development Progress project, looks at the relationship between neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and poverty. With a view towards progress in development, the paper identifies the problem that NTDs cause, how they present a problem to the alleivation of poverty generally, and how progress has and can be made in tackling them, particularly with the achievement of the MDGs in mind.

The key messages from this working paper are:

  • Neglected Tropical Diseases have a direct impact on the achievement of the MDGs. Without addressing these diseases, the broader aim of poverty alleviation is unlikely to be achieved.
  • Straightforward and highly cost-effective strategies are available to control and eventually eradicate or eliminate NTDs.
  • Success in controlling, eliminating or eradicating NTDs depends on partnerships between multiple constituencies that enable countries to adapt international guidelines to local contexts, integrate NTD programmes into health systems and engage communities in implementation.