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Sightsavers welcomes WHO road map to tackle neglected tropical diseases

January 2021

The World Health Organization has launched a new ‘road map’ laying out its approach to tackling neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in the next decade.

Sightsavers has welcomed the road map, which provides a clearer and much stronger strategic and programmatic response to NTDs. It comes at a critical time as the world battles with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The road map highlights the need to intensify efforts to strengthen and sustain health systems so they can provide NTD treatments to everyone and ensure no one is left behind. It also focuses on ending the burden of NTDs on particularly the poorest and most marginalised groups, including people with disabilities and women and girls.

It has been overseen by WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Dr Mwelecele Ntuli Malecela, Director for the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, whose commitment to eliminating NTDs has been critical to the progress made under the first road map and the publication of this one.

Sightsavers supports the renewed focus on cross-sectoral, integrated interventions, smart investment, and community engagement in mobilising action to sustainably advance NTD elimination goals through country-led approaches.

Sightsavers is proud to work with local and global partners, supporting governments in more than 30 countries to combat NTDs. Building on Sightsavers-led NTD programmes such as Ascend and Accelerate, which play a critical role in combating five NTDs in 21 countries in West and Central Africa, we are committed to the realisation of the aspirations of the new road map.

Together with our partners, we will continue to collaborate and intensify efforts towards the goals of NTD elimination by supporting ministries of health to achieve their targets, and in the process build responsive, resilient, and inclusive health systems fit for the future.

We look forward to working with WHO, member states, and development partners to implement the new road map.

A medical nurse examines a child's eye while another adult puts a supportive hand on the child's head.
An ophthalmic nurse in Zimbabwe checks a boy's eyes for signs of trachoma.

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