Linking Undernutrition and Selected Neglected Tropical Diseases
Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) like soil-transmitted helminths are often called “diseases of poverty” because they affect the poorest individuals who may live in communities with few resources, little access to health care, and regular food insecurity. The link between NTDs and undernutrition is a powerful one. Soil-transmitted helminths (STHs), such as roundworm, whipworm, and hookworm, affect more than 1.5 billion people, or 24% of the world’s population. Because they can reduce the absorption of nutrients, and may compete for iron in the blood and vitamin A in the intestine, they are strongly linked to poor nutrition. Efforts towards the elimination and control of such diseases may give hope to reduce undernutrition at the same time.
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