The World Health Organization includes seventeen quite separate diseases transmissible by bacteria, protozoa, worms and viruses in the NTDs and in 2008 developed a realistic plan to tackle them. The fight against the NTDs gained particular momentum in 2012 as a result of the London Declaration on NTDs. Here the CEOs of 13 drug companies, representatives from governments of countries affected by NTDs, from the United States, the United Kingdom and the Gates Foundation, as well as from the World Bank and WHO, together with numerous other health organisations working all over the world, agreed a common platform to control and, where possible, to eliminate ten NTDs.

At present programmes to tackle NTDs are under way in 74 countries, targeting different diseases according to local epidemiological conditions. The medicines needed for this work are donated to the programmes by the drug companies party to the London Declaration. In 2014 the German Network against Neglected Tropical Diseases (Deutsches Netzwerk gegen vernachlässigte Tropenkrankheiten, DNTDs) was founded by representatives of academia, NGOs and industry.