To mark the event, Sightsavers country offices organised celebrations, and health workers took to the field to provide pop-up clinics. Monuments and buildings around the world were also illuminated in orange and purple, including the Kigali convention centre in Rwanda.
Thousands of people showed their support online, with more than 300 posts on Sightsavers’ social media wall. This online platform enabled global supporters, governments, donors and partners to share their messages of commitment and encouragement, using the #BeatNTDs and #PlayYourPart hashtags.
Here you can see how Sightsavers marked this year’s event around the globe.
In the Ghanaian capital, Accra, Sightsavers staff and health officials came together for a lively and colourful celebration.
The event involved speeches, dancing, and dramatic performances from the University of Ghana’s School of Performing Arts. Medical students also joined the festivities by waving placards to show their support for eliminating neglected tropical diseases.
What better way to celebrate than by helping people affected by NTDs? This was the approach taken by health workers in Uganda, who spent the day finding and treating several people with lymphatic filariasis.
One of the patients treated at Adiel Health Centre was Oloya Vincent. Oloya said: “We can’t rest yet! We’re still committed to eliminating these terrible diseases in our lifetime.”
Elsewhere in Uganda, surgeons received refresher training to help them perform surgery for advanced trachoma.
Celebrations in Abuja involved lighting up the Unity Fountain, an event attended by Sightsavers staff, including Esther Bature, Adebiyi Adeniran and Eno Udongo.
At a ministerial press conference, politicians spoke about the importance of tackling NTDs and discussed plans to improve water, sanitation and hygiene.
Many smaller events took place in local districts. In Sokoto state, the Sightsavers team and partners held meetings to encourage nurses and other health workers to become ambassadors and spread the message about eliminating NTDs. Watch a short video with highlights
Health workers marked the day by visiting communities in the city of Korhogo, where they were able to identify people who needed treatment for leprosy, scabies and lymphatic filariasis. This case-finding exercise was accompanied by NTD Scientific Days at Korhogo University, involving more than 50 scientific presentations about various diseases.
Celebrations culminated in an event at the Womiegnon Cultural Centre to raise awareness of leprosy and other NTDs. The event included speeches by government officials, along with prayers and traditional performances.
Sightsavers unveiled a stand at Dubai Expo to showcase innovative work to beat NTDs. The display, part of the exhibition’s Global Best Practice programme, shows how Sightsavers and its partners are using mobile technology to combat diseases such as trachoma and river blindness.
Apps such as the TT Tracker help surgeons to collect and analyse information about trachoma operations so patients get the aftercare they need. (Image © Expo 2020 Dubai)