Diseases Diseases

What Are Neglected Tropical Diseases


They say ignorance is bliss, but it really isn’t. There are so many diseases that are often not given much importance by a doctor when attempting to diagnose a patient because it seems rather unlikely for the patient to develop that disease, but sometimes one in many cases loses his life or develops an even severe condition due to the absence of the correct diagnosis, or the diagnosis being made extremely late, respectively. Tropical diseases are known to escape the doctor’s attention very often. Tropical diseases are found most abundantly in specific regions such as one that is tropical or subtropical in nature. These diseases are known to be temperature sensitive and require a specific set of conditions in order for them to survive. A slight change in any such required condition can lead to the extinction of the responsible virus of bacterium from that region.


Tropical diseases are known particularly to be transmitted to a person through an external source such as a bite from an insect that carried the disease along with it. Insects are the primary mode of travel for these parasites. Often a virus or bacterium will attach itself to an insect, and then move into the bloodstream of the person that insect decides to bite. A simple example of this is a mosquito bite. Dengue is a very common disease in most Asian countries that is known to be transmitted into people strictly through mosquitoes. All such diseases have existed for as long as we have and despite all our progress in terms of science, we are still unable to create vaccines for such diseases. As helpless as we may be, the only chance we have against these diseases is through implementing proper prevention techniques.


The more we explore the earth and travel to distant or closed off regions, such as forests, the more likely it becomes to bring a completely alien strand of virus back home. And the sad thing about viruses in general is that they are impossible to detect until they have multiplied to a significant amount. This is how most diseases become almost viral in a sense and lead to several innocent deaths. Tropical diseases are highly dangerous because many of them cannot be cured. There are also a great number of these kinds of diseases that are often neglected. These neglected diseases include Rabies, Leprosy, Fascioliasis, Cysticercosis, Onchocerciasis, and several more. The term neglected does not necessarily mean that these diseases have been completely ignored. Now that a great number of diseases have made the list of neglected diseases, there is a specific department under the name of Neglected Tropical Diseases that has been created within the World Health Organization.

Tips and comments

Tropical diseases are most predominant or established in various parts of Africa and Asia. A group of said diseases is known to be extremely dangerous and compared to even more dangerous diseases that are however not tropical in nature. Since many do not have cures and can only be prevented, the problem that presents frequently is that poorer countries cannot afford to take the effective measures to prevent such diseases. This explains why there are so many countries in Africa and Asia that are known to be most affected during outbreaks of different types of diseases.

By Sidra Rana, published at 02/10/2012
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