The event, which featured speeches by Sightsavers CEO Dr Caroline Harper and NTD Director Simon Bush, shared significant achievements made in the treatment of NTDs. It also congratulated the partners and individuals who have helped to deliver significant outcomes for beneficiaries and communities who are at risk of blinding NTDs.
Although NTDs are preventable and treatable, diseases such as trachoma and river blindness continue to affect more than a billion people in the world’s poorest and most remote communities.
Princess Alexandra said: “As President of Sightsavers, I have taken a keen interest in the progress towards the elimination of neglected tropical diseases. I am heartened to hear from countries such as Ghana, Morocco and The Gambia of their progress towards the elimination of blinding trachoma. These are just three of the examples of how, by working in partnership, ministries of health have worked with a range of organisations and donors to achieve the goal of elimination.”
There is an unprecedented partnership that has formed around NTDs, with a number of partners contributing to a global effort to control and eliminate the diseases. The event aimed to motivate partners to continue to work together to ensure a growth of treatments to meet the global control and elimination targets for NTDs.
The Princess added: “I am delighted to be with you as you confirm your plans and form new partnerships that will allow us, together, to reach the goal of the elimination of neglected tropical diseases.”
A team of more than 4,000 volunteers, most of them women, went door to door through 273 remote villages to distribute medication to treat the potentially blinding disease.
Sightsavers CEO Caroline Harper says we could be just years away from one of the greatest achievements in human health: ridding the world of trachoma.