Yaws eradication

WHO leads multi-country study to simplify oral treatment of yaws

© National Yaws Eradication Programme
Health workers using rapid point-of-care tests during a yaws study in Ghana

29 July 2016 | Geneva –– A study in Ghana and Papua New Guinea will determine if a lower dose of the antibiotic, azithromycin, is effective in curing yaws - a chronic skin disease that mainly affects children.
A lower dose is currently being used to treat trachoma, a disease of the eye. If efficacy of a yaws low dose is established, it can be a win-win situation to simultaneously tackle both diseases of poverty.
The researcher who discovered that a single dose of oral azithromycin against yaws recently appealed for free donation of tablets to accelerate eradication of the disease.

India’s triumph over yaws adds momentum to global eradication


14 July 2016 | Geneva / New Delhi–WHO has urged countries that remain endemic for yaws to emulate the success of India and accelerate efforts to interrupt transmission by 2020. Today, a patient can easily be cured of yaws through a single-dose tablet of azithromycin; treatment can be given simultaneously to all people at risk of the disease in affected communities. India eliminated yaws using injectable penicillin. Today's celebration in New Delhi also marked the success of the country in eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus as a public health problem.

Yaws eradication will need millions of donated antibiotics, says WHO

February 2014 | Geneva -- The World Health Organization has stepped up efforts to eradicate yaws, described as the "forgotten disease", after the discovery of a single-dose oral antibiotic that can cure it.

Wiping out the bacterial skin disease that causes weeping ulcers would, however, depend on whether drug companies were prepared to donate millions of tablets, the WHO said.

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"Global eradication of yaws is feasible by 2020"


Yaws Eradication Programme:

Media contact:
Ashok Moloo
+41 22 791 1637
+41 79 540 50 86 (mobile)