International: WHO launches new Strategy Plan to 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) has unveiled a global plan to better integrate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services with four other public health interventions to accelerate progress in eliminating and eradicating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by 2020. Besides advocating for basic water, sanitation and hygiene, WHO uses four other key interventions in overcoming the global burden of NTDs. The four strategies are: preventive chemotherapy, innovative and intensified disease management, vector control and veterinary public health services. The five-year agenda for collaboration outlined in the new Strategy and Action Plan demonstrates global commitments for bringing together the WASH and public health spheres. Targeted water and sanitation interventions are expected to bolster efforts in tackling 16 out of the 17 NTDs, which affect more than 1 billion of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations.