KIT Blog

World NTD Day

On World NTD Day (Neglected Tropical Diseases), we aim to shed light to end NTDs. The purpose of World NTD Day is to raise the profile of Neglected Tropical Diseases, the suffering they cause and to gain support towards their control, elimination and eradication. NTDs are a group of chronic, disabling, and disfiguring diseases. NTDs which includes leprosy, affect over 1.7 billion people globally, coming from the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Buruli Ulcer is one of those neglected diseases and is one of the most neglected but treatable tropical diseases. Also known as BU, Buruli Ulcer is caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans. This bacterium produces a toxin that causes skin damage with which also belongs to the same family that causes tuberculosis (TB) and leprosy, although Buruli Ulcer has received the least attention.

Buruli Ulcer starts simply as a painless swollen spot or nodule that looks like a mosquito or spider bite. The infection then leads to destruction of the skin and soft tissue and formation of large ulcers, most commonly seen on the legs and arms. Without early treatment and detection, Buruli ulcer can lead to long-term disabilities such as joint restriction. The incubation period of BU ranges from one to nine months. Early detection is critical in the prevention of these types of diseases.

Buruli Ulcer can also be found locally with a record number of cases found in Victoria last year, more prevalently on the Mornington Peninsula, prompting an alert from health authorities. As of 22 January, 2024, 363 Buruli Ulcer cases were diagnosed across the state – the highest on record since 2004. More information on this can be found here:

Nine News Article

In 2006, Nigeria was established as a Buruli Ulcer endemic country by the World Health Organisation in 2006. In 2022, Nigeria recorded 216 new cases of Buruli Ulcer. The Federal Ministry of Health, with the support of partners like The Leprosy Mission Nigeria, had developed a new strategic plan and roadmap for Buruli Ulcer covering 2023 to 2030. The plan lays out an ambitious agenda towards achieving the goal of further reducing the burden of Buruli Ulcer in Nigeria through a more effective control that will contribute to poverty alleviation, increased productivity and a better quality of life for the people affected in Nigeria.

This World NTD Day, you can make a difference and join others in ending Neglected Tropical Diseases! 

Listen to Pius Ogbu Sunday talk on Buruli Ulcer below:

Buruli Ulcer - Pius Ogbu Sunday

To show your support to fight Neglected Tropical Diseases in Nigeria, click the button below:

Zamfara Project

The Leprosy Mission seeks to bring about transformation; breaking the chains of leprosy, empowering people to attain healing, dignity, and life in all its fullness.

We are targeting a Triple Zero Leprosy strategy — Zero Leprosy Transmission, Zero Leprosy Disability, and Zero Leprosy Discrimination. We are working hard with our international project partners, and international government organisations, to make leprosy transmission a thing of the past by 2035.

If you feel moved to make an impact today, click here and your gift will be graciously accepted and used where it is most needed.