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.
The day also marked the launch of the 100% Committed campaign, which calls on governments and other organisations to make fresh commitments to fight NTDs by signing the Kigali declaration.
Here you can see how Sightsavers marked this year’s event around the globe.
Sightsavers’ social media wall included videos, photos and supportive messages about beating NTDs. Watch the video above for highlights.View the wall
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.
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.
In Nigeria and Kenya, two innovative education projects are enabling children with disabilities to reach their potential.
Since 2012, Sightsavers has been using smartphones to collect high-quality data, so that countries can effectively map the disease and focus their elimination efforts.
Dr Moira Chinthambi received a Sightsavers scholarship to train as an ophthalmologist and now works on our inclusive eye health programme in Malawi.
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