Global burden

The Global Burden of Disease study estimates the magnitude of health loss due to diseases and injuries.

The results are presented in terms of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), a time-based measure that combines years of life lost due to premature mortality (YLLs) and years lived with a disability (YLDs). In 2010, it was estimated that NTDs collectively caused 26 million DALYs worldwide, with worms contributing the greatest to this burden:

  • STH: 5.2 million DALYs
  • Schistosomiasis: 3.3 million DALYs
  • LF: 2.8 million DALYs
  • Onchocerciasis: 0.5 million DALYs

The geographical burden of NTDs varies significantly, with the greatest burden occurring in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. 

Read more about the Global Burden of Disease study. 

  • STH

    Current estimates are that at 819 million people worldwide are infected with Ascaris, 464 million with Trichuris and 438 million with hookworm. Infection is generally most prevalent among rural communities in warm and humid equatorial regions and where sanitation facilities are inadequate. However, infection can also occur in urban areas.

    Of the 5.2 millions DALYs caused by STHs, the majority (62%) are attributable to hookworm. 

  • Schistosomiasis

    Schistosomiasis is endemic in 70 developing countries, and more than 200 million people are infected worldwideS. mansoni occurs in Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Brazil, Venezuela and Suriname. S. haematobium occurs in Africa and the Middle East. S. Japonicum only occurs in China, Indonesia and the Philippines.

    Most infected people live in poor communities without access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. An estimated 90% of infected individuals live in sub-Saharan Africa, where up to 20 million people also suffer severe chronic health consequences of the disease.

    Schistosomiasis is estimated to cause 3.3 million DALYs. 

  • LF

    LF is endemic in 83 countries and there are an estimated 120 million cases, including 25 million men with hydrocele and 15 million people, primarily women, with lymphedema. The disease occurs throughout the tropical areas of Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Pacific, with around 66% of the infection clustered in South-East Asia and most of the remaining infection (~33%) centred in Africa.

    LF is estimated to cause 2.8 million DALYs.