Thursday, 28 November 2013

UK Coalition Against NTDs Launches 4th Annual NTD Report

4th Annual Report of the UK Coalition Against NTDs
This Friday 29 November the UK Coalition Against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) will launch its 4th Annual Report to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and NTDs (APPMG) which outlines key recommendations to see the control, eradication and elimination of NTDs.

NTDs continue to place a huge burden on the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the world; they are keeping the bottom billion at the bottom. These insidious diseases hinder development by affecting the most marginalised and voiceless communities living in poverty and conflict zones, keeping individuals and communities trapped in a cycle of poverty as a result of pain, disfigurement, and disability (mental and physical).

The 4th report outlines NTD elimination progress and needs within the development context, the integrated and inter-sectoral approaches necessary to help achieve this, surveillance of countries post-elimination as well as presenting current ideas in the NTD debate. The report also provides a global picture on NTDs displaying a map illustrating areas identified for control and elimination and factsheets on common NTDs.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

High Level Panel Report of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda Released


At the beginning of June, the high level panel (HLP) co-chaired by Prime Minister David Cameron passed its recommendations to the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on the future of the global development agenda.

The report is a hugely ambitious one and has managed to target many of the most pertinent issues in development today and in the future, ranging from food security to economic development and water and sanitation to good governance. It has also crucially included a health specific goal of ensuring healthy lives.

The report has not only built on the millennium development goals (MDGs) but has also looked beyond them up to 2030. For NTDs, this is hugely important.

Great progress has been made in the areas targeted by the MDGs such as malaria and HIV/AIDs with notable successes in both. However, inevitably, those issues that were excluded from the process did suffer in terms of attention and funding, with NTDs a notable example from the health sector.

The Coalition is delighted to note that the report has called for NTDs to be included in the top-level health targets, alongside HIV and AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. By giving NTDs this platform, we are hopeful that this will help to ensure millions of people can look forward to a future free from the burden that these diseases cause.

Looking ahead, we now await the next stage of this consultative process where the UN General Assembly will make a final decision on what the development agenda will look like beyond 2015 incorporating the sustainable development agenda. The report notes that for all the health goals, the indicators should be further disaggregated and the Coalition urges that this be done with precision, incorporating tangible targets beneath the overarching health goal.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

NTDs at the World Health Assembly

Members of the UK Coalition against NTDs recently attended the World Health Assembly in Geneva to support the passing of a resolution on neglected tropical diseases. The resolution urges Member States to ensure country ownership of NTD programmes and supports an integrated approache to achieve the World Health Organisation NTD roadmap targets.

Read our statement to the World Health Assembly (presented by Sightsavers):

"Thank you, Chair, for the opportunity to address the World Health Assembly on behalf of Sightsavers who currently Chair the UK Coalition against neglected tropical diseases. We are pleased to share our support for this resolution and its recognition of the importance of NTDs to global health.

We welcome Dr Chan’s support for NTDs. This leadership is essential and needed more than ever to reach our ambitious control, elimination and eradication targets by 2020. WHO recognition that increased investment in NTDs has improved health and social well-being in many countries is valued- and we commend the political will that this resolution demonstrates.

This resolution represents a transformative milestone, continuing the positive momentum generated by the London Declaration and the WHO Road Map. We applaud the recognition that NTDs represent a major global health priority and that partnership, collaboration and integration must form the bedrock of the drive to end NTDs. This partnership must include endemic country governments, NGOs, donors and pharmaceutical companies.  

We look to WHO member states to lead the charge and ensure that the resolution’s implementation realises the need for cross-sectoral collaboration across planning, programme implementation monitoring and evaluation. Endemic countries must be supported to implement NTD programmes in an integrated, community-led way, targeting the poorest and most marginalised populations and delivering sustainable, lasting change.

The elimination of NTDs rests on consistent action to tackle their structural determinants. In particular, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services represent a major safeguard against many of the NTDs and should be promoted and supported as part of a cross-sectoral commitment to reaching the WHO’s 2020 targets.

We encourage endemic country Member States to bring together all relevant NTD stakeholders including health, water and education actors to drive forward cross-sectoral action.  NTD implementation plans must be aligned with wider health systems based on primary health care with strong community participation and cross-sectoral collaboration if they are to be sustainable.

As partners actively engaged in the implementation, capacity building and research of NTDs, the UK Coalition will continue to support a cross-sectoral approach- championing efforts to develop the diversity and breadth of stakeholders involved in NTDs.

NTDs are diseases of poverty; afflicting those who are subject to low access to water and sanitation services, poor or limited access to health care and overcrowded living conditions. NTD control and elimination will contribute to increased education outcomes, economic productivity and it will reduce social inequalities in health within and between countries. We have the tools and the knowledge of what needs to be done to end the suffering caused by NTDs. However our ambition to end these"

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