People are neglected, not diseases: the relationship between disability and neglected tropical diseases

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2019 Dec 1;113(12):829-834. doi: 10.1093/trstmh/trz036.


People with disabilities and the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are separately receiving increased focus. In light of this positive development, and the similarities and intersections between the negative impacts experienced by both people with disabilities and people with NTDs, we believe now is the right time to focus attention on the overlap between the two. Both people with NTDs and people with disabilities experience a myriad of overlapping negative health, financial and socio-cultural consequences. Despite this, we believe that disability is not yet properly prioritised on the development agenda, and that there are multiple opportunities to make NTD programming more inclusive, to the benefit of those at this neglected intersection and beyond. There are both opportunities and need to scale up, integrate, and invest in inclusive, health system-focused NTD programming. Realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals, Universal Health Coverage, and the control and elimination of NTDs all rely on ensuring people with disabilities are not left behind.

Keywords: NTDs; development; disability; equity; mental health; neglected tropical diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Disease Control / trends*
  • Congresses as Topic
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Neglected Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Tropical Medicine / trends*