ANESVAD has as its main objective the promotion and protection of health as a Fundamental Human Right.


    Health is an inalienable Human Right and we must contribute towards it in order to progress in development.


    Lack of health is both a cause and a consequence of poverty.


Photo: Ana Palacios

Our organisation is committed to Human and Social Rights while also focusing on other spheres such as education and entrepreneurship. Our scope of intervention covers skin diseases such Buruli ulcer, yaws, or leprosy. These are three of the Neglected Tropical Diseases listed in a report by the World Health Organisation. We offer health services related to these three diseases that affect millions of people in the world. Diseases that contribute to the circle of poverty, its cause and consequences and that stop us from winning the fight against inequality and international problems such as the basic right to health that millions of people do not enjoy.

These diseases are preventable and curable, they mainly affect children and, if not treated in their early stages, they can cause disfigurement and amputations, with lesions that will be visible all their lives, stigmatizing sufferers.


Neglected Tropical Diseases

Photo: Ana Palacios

Anesvad works with local organizations and governments to treat these diseases jointly. With a basic focus on Human Rights. Making all the links in the chain participate, we intend to have greater impact through a comprehensive strategy that must work under the umbrella of the Primary Healthcare Strategy (PHS) with the aim of improving the level of health of the entire community. In this manner, we are committed to a fairer distribution of resources, not only regarding health, but also other socioeconomic resources that are decisive for health, mainly education, clean water, hygiene, sewers and nutrition. In addition, we incorporate the perspectives of gender, disability, interculturality and environmental sustainability transversally in all our projects, placing special emphasis on links to the right to health.

Photo: Ana Palacios

This prevention work and control of NTDs is an integral part of our commitment to Universal Healthcare, which aims to ensure that all people receive the health services they need, without having to go through financial hardship to pay for them.

Millennium Development Objectives, Anesvad and Forgotten Diseases

Anesvad is committed to the Sustainable Development Objectives (SDO) as an agent for change. Objective 3 aims to guarantee the health and welfare of all people, in every stage of their life, and it includes neglected tropical diseases in this objective, which are the focal point of Anesvad’s work.

Photo: Ana Palacios

Including Neglected Tropical Diseases in the SDO is really good news due to the progress it provides for the Millennium Development Objectives, which did not include them. SDO do not target certain diseases, they have a wide-ranging health objective and adopt as a goal the attainment of Universal Health Coverage bridging inequalities in access to health from a global point of view, not only by country. Despite this, the work carried out to stop the spread of these diseases in the most affected countries, has enabled the health of thousands of people to be improved. In 2012, according to the World Health Organisation, more than 800 million people accessed health and received preventive treatment for at least one of the 20 diseases.

The World Health Statistics report, published by the WHO this year, highlights that the policies of many countries are still very far from achieving universal health coverage, measured with an index of access to 16 essential services. Social rights and deficiencies that are more apparent in regions in Africa, where many people confronted with the need to receive medical attention suffer so-called “catastrophic health expenses”, defined as direct health costs that exceed 25% of the total expenditure of the domestic economy and that make them even poorer.

Global Health Statistics 2016 offer an overview of the latest annual data regarding the goals related to health of the SDOs, and more specifically, regarding the NTDs. The figures call for a response:

  • 1700 million people need treatment against neglected tropical diseases in 185 countries.
  • 1800 million people drink contaminated water and 946 million people defecate in the open.
  • More than 2.7 million people need treatment and care for diseases such as Buruli ulcer or leprosy

The interventions in relation to neglected diseases such as those which ANESVAD implements in Benin, Ghana or Ivory Coast require the start-up of several actions:

  • 1.


    Water, hygiene and sewers are essential to combat and prevent forgotten diseases that affect the most deprived and poorest people that live in extreme poverty, without access to the most elementary measures of hygiene. In these communities, there are few accessible options for health, there are no sources of clean drinking water, they do not know what a tap or a toilet is. Moreover, once water and toilets are installed for them, we have to focus on education, teaching them good hygiene practices and showing them how to improve their health by using clean water and toilets.

  • 2.


    The diseases we work with are prevalent in contexts of vulnerability and poverty, places in which healthcare professionals are in short supply. Therefore, it is essential to motivate them, to broaden their knowledge and guarantee the best attention to sick people. All our projects include not only training healthcare personnel, but also the first link in the health chain, the health promoters. These are people who live in the communities and receive the minimum training to be able to help their neighbours. In addition, through awareness and information campaigns in the communities, we also work on early detection of diseases, to reduce their impact on sick people by treating them earlier. All these activities result in a reinforcement of health systems. Only in this way can we guarantee the sustainability of the interventions and will we achieve our ultimate goal: to implement real changes that will endure in time to improve living conditions of the people we work for.

  • 3.

    Treatment, care and rehabilitation

    Once the disease has been detected, we work to ensure that all people receive the same treatment, wherever they are or whatever the stage of their illness is, all people have the same rights. Therefore, we guarantee complete treatment including hospital admission if necessary, medicine, food and even school support in the case of children, the group most commonly affected by these diseases. We also handle the most serious cases, which require surgery and subsequent rehabilitation to recover the mobility of the affected members and reduce the stigma and mental and physical consequences of these diseases.

  • 4.


    Anesvad supports the supply of medicine to the health centres to guarantee that everyone receives treatment. Although Buruli ulcer is a disease with a mode of infection that is still unknown, there is a combination of antibiotics that can cure patients, if treated in the early stages. Since 1995, there has also been a free treatment for leprosy and in the case of yaws, recent discoveries can cure affected people with a single dose of azithromycin, an antibiotic commonly used for infections such pharyngitis.

  • 5.


    In many of the communities and regions affected by these diseases, their origin is mystical and related to curses. This means that people suffering from these diseases hide the fact or they are rejected by their neighbours, or even their families. For this reason, information and awareness are essential for the necessary information to reach these locations enabling them to understand that they are questions of health requiring treatment. If this does not happen, the consequences are serious: poverty is perpetuated and stigma and rejection will be unavoidable. To enable cured people to recover their lives and get a chance to work and earn money, we implement entrepreneurship and social reintegration in the centres themselves, and with associations of ex-patients.


We fight against the Buruli ulcer

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