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.”
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Health in Sudan invited eye health workers from Somalia and Libya to attend a training session to teach them how to gather data as part of the Tropical Data initiative.
Adriane Ohanesian’s image of a surgeon operating on a teenager in a makeshift clinic has been put forward for the Wellcome Photography Prize 2019.
Trachoma, a painful eye disease, can be easily treated with antibiotics. But the challenge is reaching the people who need treatment, particularly if they live in remote areas such as Nadir in South Sudan.