They can also leave sufferers vulnerable to other debilitating illnesses like tuberculosis.
The statistics tell a grim story. To bring these health threats out of the shadows, WHO has drawn up a list of 17 mostly neglected tropical diseases, and in May its policy-setting World Health Assembly endorsed a battle plan to fight them.
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The strategy for reducing and eradicating diseases incorporates a number of approaches. They include expanding preventive chemotherapy; intensified case detection and case management; improved vector control; appropriate veterinary health measures; and the provision of safe water and improved sanitation and hygiene. While improved water, sanitation and hygiene is often viewed as a secondary or last stage step, it is a crucial one in the case of soil-transmitted helminthiasis worm infections.
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A recent academic study found that improving water quality and hygiene standards has a major impact in controlling these infections, particularly in school settings. As such any successful drive to eliminate this disease must involve close inter-sectoral cooperation amongst the health, environment, water and sanitation, and education sectors. This interagency approach will need to be extended to include the agriculture and animal health sectors in the case of the other tropical diseases.
The WHO plan, along with a greater collective effort amongst sectoral agencies, will be a major step forward in the fight against these tropical diseases.
Since the financial crisis began in , the Commission has undertaken a comprehensive reform of the financial services sector in Europe. However, the benefits achieved by the new rules could be diminished by risks moving to less regulated sectors.
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These risks include a possible contagion through the connection of shadow banking activities with the regular banking system. This communication was adopted as a follow up to a green paper on shadow banking, where stakeholders provided input to a consultation.
From the shadows into the light: Progress on benchmarking macroprudential policy strategies
Securities financing transactions SFTs were identified in the Commission communication on shadow banking as requiring better monitoring. SFTs are any transaction in which securities are used as collateral for a cash transaction. SFTs allow market participants to access secured funding and are an essential funding tool in the European Union.
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