The Burden of Disease


This map shows cause-specific Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) for 14 NTDs* as described by the Global Health Estimates (GHE), issued by WHO. In order of severity, India, China, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Indonesia are enduring the highest disease burden.

*The 14 NTDs as identified by the WHO’s GHE are as follows:
African trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease, schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, cysticercosis, echinococcosis, dengue fever, trachoma, rabies, STH (ascariasis, trichuriasis, hookworm), food-borne trematodes, and leprosy.


These 14 NTD DALYs are represented on this map in proportion to each country’s GDP. The closer each country’s color is to red, the greater the impact of NTDs is with respect to their economic power. In this case, we can see that the Central African Republic, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi and Sierra Leone are the most severely affected countries, with NTDs having a considerable economic impact on countries in Central Africa, East Africa and West Africa.

[How much negative impact does NTDs have in the world?]

  • According to the report by the World Bank in 2017, NTDs had 22 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) in 2012, this is 1% of world DALYs loss.1 For low-income countries, 13 NTDs’ DALYs loss was 1.32% of overall DALYs loss (calculated using GLOBAL HEALTH ESTIMATES 2016)*2.。
  • If the London Declaration from 2012 can be achieved, 519 million DALYs loss can be saved during 2015-20301.*1
  • It is estimated that US$ 622 billion individual income loss can be prevented if NTD is eradicated1 between 2011-2030.

*1:Holmes, King K.; Bertozzi, Stefano; Bloom, Barry R.; Jha, Prabhat. 2017. Disease Control Priorities, Third Edition: Volume 6. Major Infectious Diseases. Washington, DC: World Bank. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/28659

*2:WHO, Health statistics and information systems, Disease burden and mortality estimates
Disease burden and mortality estimates

[NTD investment results]

Disability are caused by NTDs with most patients such as lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, and soil-transmitted helminthiasis, and it decreases labor productivity. If children contract the disease, parents or guardians need to take a days off to take care of them. Also, the cost to treat NTDs will accumulate and affects the family’s budget that will lead to the cycle of impoverishment. Therefore, investment to NTD elimination program will be greatly beneficial to the society. The total cost for treatment and prevention of NTD is merely 0.1% of total medical fee of the NTD endemic country. Great economic profit could be expected to the international society and for the government of endemic countries by investing to the NTD programs.

  • The total estimate cost for NTD programs is about US$ 6.75 billion during 2015-20301.*1。
  • he estimate profit of individuals by getting the treatment (the budget that they do not have to pay for future treatments and the total income because of being able to work) is about US$ 3.42 trillion.*1
  • It was reported that if the international society invests US$ 1 and if NTD is eradicated between 1990-2030, U$& 25 return is expected1.*1

*1:Holmes, King K.; Bertozzi, Stefano; Bloom, Barry R.; Jha, Prabhat. 2017. Disease Control Priorities, Third Edition: Volume 6. Major Infectious Diseases. Washington, DC: World Bank. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/28659

[What are the causes of delay in the progress of NTD control?]

  • Still developing surveillance and mapping
  • Not enough medications
  • Geographical constrains to access the population in need
  • Presence of stigma against people with NTD symptoms and these people do not
    seek for treatment
  • Civil war or conflicts at the boarders
  • Migration of people from endemic to non-endemic countries
  • Lack of appropriate diagnostic tools
  • Program implementation problems: one health, mass drug administration (MDA), and WAter Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
  • Emergence of resistance against vector control
  • Decline in implementation by achieving a program. For example, when lymphatic filariasis is successfully eliminated, decline in mass drug administration of albendazole for soil-transmitted helminthiases (STH) program.
  • Insufficient funds
  • Not carrying through until complete eradication. For example, mass drug administration campaigns led by WHO and UNICEF around 1960s reduced the worldwide prevalence of treponematoses from 50 million to 2.5 million, but momentum was not carried through to complete eradication and the disease resurged in the 1970s.

*Integrating neglected tropical diseases into global health and development: fourth WHO report on neglected tropical diseases. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2017.