Thursday, 17 January 2013

Collaboration is the key to beating Neglected Tropical Diseases, says UK Coalition against NTDs

As highlighted in ‘Promises to Progress: The First Annual Report on the London Declaration on NTDs’ released today, the past year has seen many successes in the fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) – a group of infectious diseases which affect more than one billion of the world’s poorest people.  Whilst celebrating these achievements, the UK Coalition against NTDs is also stressing the need for continued collaboration and integration in 2013 so progress can be made towards eliminating ten of these diseases by 2020.

Caroline Harper, Chair of the UK Coalition against NTDs, and Chief Executive of member NGO Sightsavers, says: “Many of the steps forward in the fight against NTDs over the past 12 months are the result of public and private partners working together.  One of the biggest achievements is the development of the London Declaration Scorecard as a new tool to unite all NTD partners.  It will drive collaborative working, outlining the responsibilities of the wide variety of partners involved. 

“This shift in the way we are working as a community gives me hope for the future.  However, it is essential that this continues, for example, with partners across different sectors including health, education, water and sanitation working together.  Only by pooling expertise, resources and research can NTD elimination become a reality.”

The ‘Promises to Progress’ Report and the WHO’s new NTD report ‘Sustaining the Drive to overcome the Global Impact of Neglected Tropical Diseases’, clarify the path forward whilst identifying the challenges in fighting these debilitating diseases.    

The UK government signified its commitment to NTDs by announcing £195m funding in January 2012 to support NTD control and elimination, protecting more than 140 million people. This includes support to make Guinea Worm the second human disease ever to be eradicated by 2015 and the provision of £10.6m to complete the global mapping of blinding NTD trachoma. 

“Thanks to support from DFID and other donors, significant progress has been made on NTD elimination and eradication agendas,” says Caroline Harper.  “Despite these success stories the NTD community still faces an annual funding gap of almost US$300 million which is preventing key elements of elimination programmes from being brought to scale.  We as a coalition are keen to see further donor commitments to ensure a positive future for the millions of people living at risk of these terrible diseases.”    

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

First Annual Report on the London Declaration on NTDs launched

Today marks the launch of a new report, From Promises to Progress. This report reflects on the 12 months since the London Declaration meeting last January and highlights successes in 2012 as well as goals and challenges for 2013.  

Alongside this report, the WHO has also launched its second NTD report, Sustaining the Drive to Overcome the Global Impact of Neglected Tropical Diseases, which discusses the path to achieving 2020 goals, identifies challenges and proposes plans to address each disease. Together, these reports offer a united way forward for the NTD community. The reports, press release and full version of the NTD scorecard are now available here.

Read the UK Coalition reponse to the reports  here