The Intersections of Neglected Tropical Disease and Surgical System Strength in Low and Middle Income Countries
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Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a subsection of diseases identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) that burden approximately 1 billion people every year. The majority of the affected individuals live in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Additionally, these conditions disproportionately affect those in poverty. Three NTDs in particular that can present a need for surgical intervention are Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases, Buruli Ulcer, and Trachoma. Currently, 5 billion individuals lack access to surgical care, of which LMICs also bear the largest gaps in access. A strong surgical system is vital to the success of an overall healthcare system and is a necessary part of relieving the burden of NTDs. Surgical system strengthening intersects with NTDs in such a way that it is impossible to adequately address the burden of neglected tropical diseases without also placing focus on strengthening the surgical care system.