Uganda is on track to eradicating a common form of West African sleeping sickness (also known as human African trypanosomiasis, or HAT) in 3 years, but South Sudan’s civil war could jeopardize those efforts. Refugees from areas of Sudan where the disease is endemic are…

Konzo has afflicted other communities where cassava is a staple, such as Mozambique. In her chapter about konzo in The Practice of International Health: A Case-Based Orientation, physician Julie Cliff writes, “The study of konzo has been my greatest professional success—…

While global attention flutters from conflict to outbreaks, the impoverished people of Kahemba, Democratic Republic of Congo, and many other towns live in chronic crisis. Grinding poverty leaves them malnourished and dependent on a type of cassava that thrives in dry…

Previously believed to be harmless, a filarial worm infection called Loiasis may actually contribute to an increased risk of death, according to a recent Lancet Infectious Diseases study. Affecting over 10 million people in Africa, the infection, also known as “African Eye…

Lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis, is on track to become a thing of the past in Pacific Island countries, according to the WHO.   The organization announced in October that the Cook Islands, Niue and Vanuatu had eliminated the mosquito-borne illness, which…

Aiming to better understand the spread of schistosomiasis—a water-borne, tropical infection often resulting in abdominal pain, diarrhea and blood in the stool or urine—bioengineer Manu Prakash investigated the unusual swimming patterns of the parasite that causes it.  

Most of the world’s neglected tropical diseases, including dengue, leishmaniasis, leprosy, Chagas disease, and parasitic worm infections, can be found in some of the world’s wealthiest countries, as well as Nigeria, according to a new report that examines “blue marble…

In the US, the Chigoe flea, also known as a chigger, is considered a mere nuisance. But elsewhere, this parasitic flea causes an inflammatory skin disease called tungiasis, which can lead to gangrene, amputations and painful lesions.  

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and infections continue to affect Somalia’s 10.6 million people amidst conflict and political instability. Factors that have exacerbated NTDs include the country’s high percentage of people living in severe poverty, which is about 60%, and…

Bites or stings from venomous animals such as the king cobra, killer (Africanized) bees and the Gila monster often cause illness or death. But their venom may also have the potential to conquer ailments such as Lyme disease, type-2 diabetes, chronic pain, heart disease,…