Donors’ Meeting on Neglected Tropical Diseases Communications Plan

Donors’ Meeting on Neglected Tropical Diseases Communications Plan

The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) and the World Health Organization Regional Offices for Africa (WHO/AFRO) and the Eastern Mediterranean (WHO/EMRO) are hosting an event entitled “Ending Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in Africa.” This meeting is designed to catalyze financial and other aligned support for the fight against NTDs.

This year, the global community marked the fifth anniversary of the London Declaration on NTDs. Through unprecedented local, national and global action, including a historic US$18-billion medicine donation commitment by pharmaceutical companies, the global community has increased treatment coverage and reduced the number of people that require treatment for NTDs by 333 million.

These achievements are overshadowed by the fact that NTDs still affect more than 1.5 billion people, particularly in Africa. Despite the fact that NTDs can be prevented for around US$0.50 per treatment, they continue to cause 170,000 deaths, long-term disabilities for millions of people and billions dollars in economic losses each year. These diseases affect mostly the poorest communities and the most vulnerable people, perpetuating a cycle of disease and poverty.

It is imperative that we redouble efforts now to reduce this burden and keep global NTD elimination and control goals on track. The May 2016 launch of the Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN) by WHO AFRO provides a unique window of opportunity to empower African countries with the technical skills and resources they need to strengthen health systems, build integrated approaches to NTD treatment and ensure that drug donations reach those who need them the most, ensuring “no one is left behind.”

ESPEN is uniquely positioned to make a critical difference in Africa. In recognition of ESPEN’s importance, KFAED is committed to helping ESPEN expand its resource base by expanding its network of partners.

In order to support the outcomes of the conference and to continue to raise the profile of ESPEN and of WHO AFRO’s leadership, Speak Up Africa is working with traditional media partners and social media partners in order to distribute NTD and ESPEN messages.