Tungiasis is one of the most neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). There is a need to reinforce skills of national and district health workers to know and identify the disease, understand the risk factors according to the context and living conditions of the affected communities, and promote the implementation of integrated interventions, including the treatment of persons and animals, to reduce the morbidity associated with tungiasis, and eliminate the occurrence of severe tungiasis cases. This course examines the epidemiology of tungiasis, clinical aspects, diagnosis, treatment and prevention, socioeconomic impact, and public health interventions.
Picture: Pan American Health Organization, Project in Alto Rionegro, Brazil. Tungiasis in humans. Tumbirá project: training activities for controlling tungiasis in indigenous communities link
This course is also available in the following languages:
Tungiasis has been included as part of the skin-neglected tropical diseases in the NTD road map 2021-2030 launched by WHO in 2020. Tungiasis is caused by the penetration of sand fleas into the epidermis of its host and affects mostly resource-poor urban and rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa, South America, and the Caribbean. There is a lack of reliable data on geographic distribution, prevalence, and intensity of infection, but there have been reports of communities with prevalence up to 60% in children and 30% in the general population. In endemic areas affected, people suffer from heavy infections and severe, frequently debilitating and incapacitating morbidity.
However, national and local health authorities do not prioritize this disease within the public health intervention plans, mainly because of lack of data, knowledge or interest. Thus, affected communities still usually use treatments that cause more harm than good, although effective and safe means for prevention and treatment exist. The aim of the course is to provide information about tungiasis to increase knowledge and skills of national and health workers to address this disease. The course includes background information on skin-NTDs, epidemiology of tungiasis, pathogenesis and clinical pathology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention, socioeconomic impact, and public health interventions.
By the end of this course, you should be able to:
Course duration: Approximately 2 hours.
Certificate: A Record of Achievement certificate will be available to participants who score at least 80% of the total points of the final quiz. Participants who receive a Record of Achievement can also download an Open Badge for this course. Click here to learn how. .