Last year, seven nations eliminated a neglected tropical disease, taking the number of countries that have done so since the late 1990s to almost 50, with 11 banishing more than one disease. NTDs, 20 conditions that affect more than one billion people worldwide, generally affect people living in impoverished communities, and the World Health Organization wants to eliminate them by 2030. Last year, the Democratic Republic of the Congo eliminated guinea worm disease, joining 16 other countries that have rid themselves of the condition. Togo, Malawi, Saudi Arabia and Vanuatu got rid of trachoma, a bacterial infection that causes blindness, and Uganda and Equatorial Guinea eliminated a type of African trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness.

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