The Burden of Neglected Diseases in Developing Countries

  • A. Boutayeb
Reference work entry


Although with low mortality rates, neglected diseases are causing severe and permanent disabilities and deformities affecting approximately 1 billion people in the world, yielding millions of  Disability Adjusted Life Years. Unfortunately, despite scientific and technological advances realized during the last century and the evidence of possible research output in the biomedical field, a large population living in developing countries, do not have access to adequate affordable treatment against infectious diseases. The reasons why the so-called neglected diseases have been given very little attention are local, national and international. First of all, these diseases affect almost exclusively extremely poor populations living in remote areas beyond the reach of health services. Secondly, they occur in developing countries where few governments are putting science, technology, and innovation at the centre of their strategies and, in the meantime, war and conflicts are financed at the expense of health services. Thirdly, little (or no) research is currently dedicated to the most neglected diseases because they offer negligible marketable and profitable issues, getting less than 10% of the global spending on health research in spite of being among diseases or conditions that account for 90% of the global disease burden. New initiatives are needed and coordination for a better efficiency should strengthen the existing projects such as  Drug for Neglected Diseases Initiative, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, The  Human Hookworm Vaccine initiative and the  Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics.


Visceral Leishmaniasis Lymphatic Filariasis Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever Buruli Ulcer Dengue Shock Syndrome 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:


acquired immune defense system


disability adjusted life years


dengue fever


dengue hemorrhagic fever


drug for neglected diseases initiative


dengue shock syndrome


European union


foundation for innovative new diagnostics


filariasis lymphatic


global alliance for vaccines and immunization


human hookworm vaccine initiative


human immunodeficiency virus


millennium development goals


neglected disease


organization for economic cooperation and development


 Onchocerciasis Control Program


United Nations Development Program


United States Agency for Development


visceral leishmaniasis


World Health Organization


years lived with disability


years of life lost



This work is partially funded by the Program Global de Recherche of the university Mohamed Ier.


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  • A. Boutayeb

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