Peace Corps - Neglected Tropical Diseases

Welcome to the Peace Corps Neglected Tropical Diseases toolkit. According to the World Health Organization, Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) affect approximately one billion people worldwide, or one sixth of the world's population. NTDs are more prevalent within the poorest and most marginalized communities, whereby people are often afflicted with multiple NTDs simultaneously. Children, approximately 500 million of them, are often most greatly impacted.

In general, there are five categories of NTD’s. These include: bacterial infections, trypanosomal parasites, viral infections, worm(helminth) parasites, and soil-transmitted helminthiasis. The latter is a sub group of worm parasites. Please refer to the table below for the specific diseases that fall under each NTD category. 

NTDs are debilitating, they deform, blind and kill populations at risk, and contribute to poverty. Thus NTD control is a critical component to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The seven most common NTDs globally (trachoma and most of the worm parasites) can all be treated and prevented through mass drug administration (MDA), health education, and water and sanitation programs. Please refer to the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases website for useful background information on NTD programming. For a comprehensive overview of NTDs, please refer to the World Health Organization's 2010 first-ever report on NTDs.

Most of the materials included in this toolkit are publications from the Carter Center, the World Health Organization, and the Centers for Disease Control. Their respective websites are also good resources for information on NTD. As with any other type of successful community activity, you, the Volunteer, should involve communities as much as possible in your efforts, including a range of stakeholders throughout project planning and implementation.  You should be sure to be well informed and to identify at least one technical expert who you and your community can consult with along the way.

To access the resources identified please choose from the navigation on the right side of the page:





Bacterial Infections 

Trachoma, Buruli Ulcer, Leprosy

Trypanosomal Parasites 

Chagas disease, Human African Sleeping Sickness, Leishmaniasis

Viral Infections 

Dengue Fever

Worm(Helminth) Parasites 

(including Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis)  

Whipworm, Hookworm, Roundworm, Guinea Worm, Elephantiasis, Schistosomiasis, River Blindness


We also invite you to contribute by suggesting resources to include and posting your comments through the feedback form.

Toolkit last updated: October 11, 2012