23 October 2013 -- WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Luis G Sambo, has re-iterated his appeal to all stakeholders to fill the financing gaps in order to help ensure that well-designed national plans for addressing Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in the African Region are fully implemented to achieve the goal of eradicating, eliminating and controlling targeted NTDs by 2020.
In a message to the Development Agencies Roundtable which ended on Wednesday in Berlin, Germany, Dr Sambo also urged Governments in the WHO African Region to increase their domestic investments in health, while advocating for increased international health partnerships and funding.
The Regional Director drew the attention of participants to progress made in recent years to reduce the impact of NTDs on the African people, pointing out that only four countries in the Region were yet to eradicate guinea worm disease, while 121 million people benefitted from mass drug administration for elephantiasis in 2011, compared to only 50 million in 2001. Furthermore, 36 of the 46 countries in the Region have now developed multi-year plans to control and eliminate the so-called diseases of poverty.
Dr Sambo concluded: “I am pleased to note that the global health community is rallying together to support the new course towards a world free from NTDs. Let us mobilize the necessary resources needed to end the threat of NTDs in our world.”
Held in Berlin, the Roundtable was hosted by the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Network for NTDs, with support from WHO .
The event brought together key government development partners, foundations, and the private sector to deliberate on important issues concerning the achievement of the regional and global targets to control, eliminate and eradicate targeted NTDs by 2020.
Video: Opening Remarks of the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Luis Gomes Sambo at the Development Agency Roundtable Event on Neglected Tropical Diseases in Berlin, Germany, October 23, 2013
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