The number of people requiring treatment for at least one NTD in Africa is reducing while the proportion of those in need and receiving treatment is going up.

In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, there were 630 million people in need of treatment for at least one NTD in 2015. By 2017 this had fallen to 605 million – a drop of 25 million in just three years, showing that treatments for NTDs are effective.

In 2015 the proportion of the 630 million people in need of treatment in Sub Saharan Africa, and who received it, was just over half, or 51%. By 2017 this proportion had risen – 68% of the 605 million people in need were getting the drugs they required.

In the three years for which a league table has been calculated, 2015, 2016 and 2017, three nations with modest national incomes have done consistently well in the fight against NTDs – and performed better than richer countries. Malawi, Sierra Leone and Togo – all classified by the United Nations as being in the lowest category of the Human Development Index, a broad calculator of income – have consistently hit a WHO target to treat and protect at least 75% of people at risk from NTDs.

These three countries have shown that political will can be as important as money in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals ambition to “leave no-one behind”.

630 million people in need of treatment for at least one NTD in 2015 605 million people in need of treatment for at least one NTD in 2017

Great progress in fighting neglected tropical diseases in Africa