Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) refers to a diverse group of parasitic and bacterial diseases that cause significant morbidity and mortality in more than 1 billion people worldwide. NTDs persist in areas with less financial resources for health. Because of this, these diseases have historically received far less attention than other major killers such as malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis. Many NTDs cause severe disfigurement and disabilities, including elephantiasis, blindness, and developmental disabilities such as stunting and anemia, which can cause both social and economic challenges in the regions where they exist.

For five of the most common NTDs (lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, soil transmitted helminthiasis, schistosomiasis, and trachoma) safe, effective, donated treatments distributed via mass drug administration are able to help control or eliminate these diseases.

USAID support for NTDs focuses on the scale-up of efficient and sustained preventive chemotherapy in an integrated manner so that control or elimination of these diseases can be achieved. To ensure sustainability, USAID is also working alongside governments as they integrate NTD priorities into routine planning, service delivery, health insurance / financing, and data collection and monitoring processes.