Tropical Medicine

Neglected Tropical Diseases in Botswana

Neglected tropical diseases

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) undermine the resilience of communities, affect poverty ridden population and have devastating impacts on socio economic development.Proper funding, global awareness and positive political influence are necessary to control and eliminate most of these diseases.

NTDs in Botswana

Neglected tropical diseases are caused by wide range of different bacteria, parasites and viruses that thrive in tropical and subtropical climates. More than one billion people around the world suffer from these parasitic and bacterial infections.

NTDs like Dengue, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, helminth infections and schistosomiasis have not received much attention in comparison to HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis. Cases of intestinal worms, leprosy and trachoma are neglected tropical diseases reported in Botswana. NTDs are overlooked because of lesser mortality or public awareness rates and their occurrence in poorest countries. Treatment and prevention of NTDs are difficult in geographically isolated endemic areas.

Treatment and Prevention of Tropical Diseases

Timely diagnosis and treatment by healthcare experts are necessary to avoid chronic morbidity, disfigurement and disability. If not treated, NTDs can lead to blindness, malnutrition, severe physical disabilities, poor health and even death. Thus, the control and elimination of these diseases has been included in global health agenda. Controlling and eliminating NTDs is critical and most of the medications are donated by pharmaceutical companies, makingthe treatment cost effective. Affordable treatment or health interventions can also be attributed to better modes of drug delivery and unpaid voluntary distribution of drugs.Treatment and control of NTDs calls for concerted efforts from government, private organisations and communities. Control, prevention and treatment of NTDs delivered by community health systems are simple though sometimes clinical case management may be required. Effective treatment programs target populations existing at the periphery of health systems.

Vulnerable, poor and politically marginalized population belonging to poorest areas due to low visibility are overlooked by the global health system or drug and diagnostic developers. Awareness of policies and resolutions at global and continental level are essential. Increasing health expenditure and promoting health are vital to reduce poverty associated diseases like NTDs. As countries move towards improving their health status, the NTD elimination tools available need constant improvement with the changing epidemiology of these diseases. Geographical, economic challenges and several other factors contribute to the rise in NTDs. Development of new drugs strategies, interventions and rapid diagnostic tests helps eliminate the challenges encountered at each stage.

Online Courses in Tropical Medicine

Online courses are easily accessible to disseminate knowledge of neglected diseases; understand the concept of neglected diseases and their impact on the population; acknowledge high risk population groups and spatial clustering of neglected diseases; recognise underlying causes, funding and health system inequalities with regards to these diseases; prevent co-infection burdenof different disease and increase efficiency of coordinating disease control or treatment programmes through collaboration.

The Advanced Post-Graduate Diploma in Tropical Medicine, Surveillance and Immunization is for aspiring healthcare professionals in the field of tropical medicine. This program provides updated educational resource on parasitic, infectious and other tropical health problems.Masters Degree in Health Management available at JLI in collaboration with the International Telematic University, Rome, Italy helps develop experts in global health management of NTDs. JLI also provides an online MPH program in collaboration with International Telematic University.

Online Courses at James Lind Institute (JLI)

James Lind Institute (JLI) also provides online programs in Public Health Research, Global Health, Occupational Health, Environmental Health, Clinical Research, Pharmacovigilance. Medical Writing and Medical Journalism.

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