The Mark of Neglect

Leishmaniose Cutânea

Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi)

Colombia, 2014

In the world, there are diseases that affect the poorest people. Those who live in the most remote places. These are neglected diseases. Among the most neglected diseases, is leishmaniasis, a disease currently present in 99 countries in the world. The most common form of the disease is cutaneous leishmaniasis, which, as it’s name suggests, forms a lesion on the skin. The number of cases of the disease in the world is estimated to be between 1 and 1.5 million. Approximately 40% of the cases are found in Latin America, and one of the most serious problems of this disease is treatment. For over 70 years now, the same medication has been used as first line treatment for the disease. These are highly toxic injections made of antimony salts that produce many side effects. Besides, we’ve seen that patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis have died as a result of the treatment, even though this isn’t a fatal disease. In this context, DNDi focuses on seeking treatments that can be adapted the to clinical conditions of the patients.