WHO Eyes ‘Protecting’ Ivermectin from Use for COVID as It Plans to Emerge Out of Pandemic & Refocus on NTD Programs

WHO Eyes ‘Protecting’ Ivermectin from Use for COVID as It Plans to Emerge Out of Pandemic & Refocus on NTD Programs

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted its 14th meeting of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD), held virtually from June 22 to June 24, 2021. Known as STAG (Strategic and Technical Advisory Group), the group published a number of recommendations, including the potential implications of COVID-19 on Neglected Tropical Diseases. With so much health authority attention on COVID-19, the hundreds of millions of people at risk for NTD face greater risks as programs languished in the pandemic. That is, WHO’s STAG shared that the predicted and emerging empirical evidence suggests possibly profound impacts of the pandemic on the organization’s various programs dealing with NTD. Consequently, the STAG group suggested that first and foremost health systems in the various countries should prepare for not only greater numbers of NTDs, but also “more intense transmission of infection” followed by “accumulating disability” as a consequence of the pandemic and the associated intense focus on fighting COVID-19, to the detriment of other programs, such as leprosy and cutaneous leishmaniasis. WHO’s STAG positions that medicines such as ive...

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