Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many key neglected tropical disease (NTD) activities have been postponed. This hindrance comes at a time when the NTDs are progressing towards their ambitious goals for 2030. Mathematical modelling on several NTDs, namely gambiense sleeping sickness, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiases (STH), trachoma, and visceral leishmaniasis, shows that the impact of this disruption will vary across the diseases. Programs face a risk of resurgence, which will be fastest in high-transmission areas. Furthermore, of the mass drug administration diseases, schistosomiasis, STH, and trachoma are likely to encounter faster resurgence. The case-finding diseases (gambiense sleeping sickness and visceral leishmaniasis) are likely to have fewer cases being detected but may face an increasing underlying rate of new infections. However, once programs are able to resume, there are ways to mitigate the impact and accelerate progress towards the 2030 goals.
Bibliographical noteFinancial support. The NTD Modelling Consortium was supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (grant number OPP1184344). S. B. acknowledges National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant R01 EY025350. L. E. C. acknowledges funding from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) (grant number 016.Veni.178.023). R. E. C., C. H., and K. S. R. acknowledge funding by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through the Human African Trypanosomiasis Modelling and Economic Predictions for Policy (HAT MEPP) project (grant number OPP1177824). F. G. acknowledges funding from a European Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship (H2020-COFUND-2015-FP-707404). M. G. B. and J. I. D. H. acknowledge joint center funding for MRC GIDA (MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis) (grant number MR/R015600/1) by the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) under the MRC/DFID Concordat agreement, which is also part of the EDCTP2 program supported by the European Union. T. M. L. acknowledges funding from the NIH. E. M. acknowledges partial funding from the NIH (grant number RO1AI123245). T. C. receives salary from grants from the US NIH and from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
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