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You Have To Know These 21 Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

Pictures: Google, CBM Christian Blind Mission, Cosmetic Derma Medicine

Do you know what are Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)? NTD is a kind of disease commonly found in African, Asian and Latin American countries. NTDs are more evident in tropical areas without access to clean water. Not only that, but it also exists in places that have no proper or hygienic way to dispose of human waste.

We’re thankful for living in Malaysia as we have access to clean water and safe ways to dispose of human waste. However, it’s not a guarantee we can be entirely safe. 

Since Malaysia has been going through many episodes of a flash floods, an affected area might not have access to clean water. Anyone can be infected by these diseases. 

But do you know what those diseases are? Let’s find out together.

Types of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

1) Protozoa

Protozoa are one-celled animals found in many habitats. Most of them are free living. But many infect other animals to be their hosts. Once this cell infects an animal or human, the severity of its infection is from asymptomatic to deadly.


Picture: Microbiology Society

These are the types of diseases caused by protozoa infection:

  • Chagas 
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Human African trypanosomiasis

2) Ectoparasite


Picture: Vet Times

This organism infests the skin of humans and animals. When it bites you, you’ll feel intense itchiness. 

Did you know? Scabies is caused by this little organism!

3) Bacteria


Picture: National Human Genome Research Institute

There are good and bad bacteria in the body. Good bacteria help the human body in many ways. For example, in the gut, bacteria help with the digestive system.

However, bad bacteria can cause diseases like Buruli Ulcer and Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease).

4) Non-infectious disease

One example of a non-infectious disease is snake bite. Even though it’s not infectious, it’s deadly. Late treatment could result in death.


Picture: Google

Especially after the flood has subsided, unwanted animals might invade our houses. Therefore, always check the condition of your homes before cleaning them.

5) Helminth (Ringworm)

Have you seen a video of doctors extracting a long worm from a person’s anus? It’s an example of a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD). 


Picture: YourGenome

These worms are like a parasite. They live in unclean water. They will find a host to feed on. Since humans have enough nutrients to grow, they enter through holes in our bodies. Then, they will reproduce. Thus, that’s when humans feel discomfort.

Some of the diseases are:

  • Taeniasis / Cysticercosis
  • Soil-transmitted Helminths (STH)
  • Trematodiases (from food consumption)
  • Lymphatic Filariasis
  • Dracunculiasis (Guinea Worm Disease)
  • Schistosomiasis
  • Onchocerciasis

Other NTDs include:

  • Virus

    • Rabies
    • Dengue Fever
    • Chikungunya
  • Fungi

    • Mycetoma
    • Chromoblastomycosis
    • Fungi infection on the skin

Sources: Twitter KKM Portal MyHealth, CDC, National Library of Medicine (Protozoa), Science Direct (Ectoparasite), National Human Genome Research Institute (Bacteria)

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