Yaws is a widespread, disfiguring treponemal disease causing deep-seated infirmity if untreated. It can be cured by a single injection of long-acting penicillin. 280 million people were examined and 35 million treated between 1950 and 1960. This little boy, Ede Nwaegbo, is five years old. A victim of yaws, he rarely smiled. Neither did his mother. That was before a visit of a WHO-assisted yaws team. Verso: WHO/5874. Ten years of health progress. World Health Day 1958. Yaws: A mother from a bush village in Nigeria and her five-year old boy-two masks misery, the painful disfigurement of a child afflicted by yaws, the sorrow of a helpless mother. Yaws has been called "the nightmare of the Tropics" because its empire lies between the tropics of Cancer ans Capricorn. About 50 million people are thought to be infected. However a single shot of penicillin will cure the disease and by 1957 national teams assisted by WHO and UNICEF had treated 20 million cases on three continents.
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World Health Organization; Source: Record; Research date: 20151218