Don’t Forget Neglected Diseases

Going by a health service coverage index, some countries are making clear strides toward universal health coverage. There’s just one problem: The index neglected to include services for neglected tropical diseases.

To tackle that oversight, researchers led by the WHO’s Christopher Fitzpatrick developed a comparable index focused on NTD service coverage. They focused on preventive chemotherapy and 5 NTDs: lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiases, and trachoma—then held it up against the UHC service coverage index.
 
81 of 113 countries measured performed lower in NTD than UHC services in the index, suggesting that countries with large gaps might need to shift focus to more interventions for their poorest populations.

The Lancet Global Health

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