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WHO Calls For Unity Against Neglected Tropical Diseases in Africa

WHO Calls For Unity Against Neglected Tropical Diseases in Africa

Princess-Ekwi Ajide Abuja

World Health Organization, WHO, says, Africa bears 40% of the global burden of Neglected Tropical Diseases, NTDs, hence the need to overcome the persistent challenges that are slowing progress in eliminating the diseases.

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, who stated this in her message to commemorate the 2024 World NTDs Day with the theme: Unite, Act, Eliminate, charged regional governments and partners to unite and reach out to the 18 million fewer people who require interventions against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in the region.

According to her, the NTD Day, is, a significant occasion to consider the severe effects the diseases have on the wellbeing and livelihoods of billions around the globe and as well, a time to reflect on the progress made in fighting the diseases to recognize the urgent need for global and national authorities to reinforce their commitment and mobilize resources to accelerate elimination of NTDs globally and in Africa.

Dr. Moeti, highlighted some success stories in the fight against NTDs through the Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN) and support from partners and governments on NTD awareness campaigns to include a better diagnosis and treatment for people living with the diseases, preventing and controlling vectors that carry NTDs such as teste flies, snails, worms and the animal reservoirs, which in turn, will lead to the provision of safe water supplies and sanitation to prevent NTDs, and improve the overall quality of life of people in the continent.

She said uniting against NTDs, will lead to building a world where no one lives with river blindness, or is shunned by society because they are living with leprosy, or debilitated by anaemia because they are infected with soil transmitted worms noting that presently, nineteen countries in the region have eliminated at least one NTD.

“Globally, we have clear roadmaps towards ending NTDs, Ending the neglect to attain the Sustainable Development Goals: a road map for neglected tropical diseases 2021-2030” she said.


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