Measuring the impact of NTDs on disability, morbidity, stigma and mental ill-health: what do we know, what tools do we have, and where do we go from here?
The majority of NTDs, particularly those affecting the skin have the potential to cause chronic ill-health and long-term disability, even after successful treatment of the underlying cause. Stigma and discrimination associated with chronic ill-health and long-term disability have an impact on various aspects of life, including economic status and social participation. The impact of stigma on mental health is substantial and has recently been highlighted as a major contributor to the global burden of mental ill-health. As a result, people with NTDs have been shown to have significantly higher levels of mental distress or disorder than others in the same communities. For example, the burden of disease associated with lymphatic filariasis (LF) may be around twice as high if comorbid depression is considered. For cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), this may even be 60-90 times the current burden figures. Despite these interactions, there has been limited research to utilise and integrate existing methods or develop new tools for assessing this burden within NTD programmes.
This session will explore the current evidence base of the interactions between chronic ill-health, disability, stigma and mental ill health as well as focusing on the currently available tools for measuring associated burdens. We will seek to identify and prioritise actions and strategies to progress measurement of stigma, disability and morbidity in NTDs, particularly those affecting the skin.