Sightsavers and RSTMH host learning event on major tropical disease programme

September 2022

Sightsavers and the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene are hosting an event with experts from the Ascend West and Central Africa programme to share key learnings on eliminating neglected tropical diseases.

The virtual event will share findings from a new collection of research papers – Ascend: Lessons from the programme in West and Central Africa – which is set to launch later in September. Various Ascend partners have collaboratively contributed to the collection, which looks at the impressive impact of the programme and how to build on its success.

The Ascend programme was UK Aid’s flagship initiative to tackle five neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in 13 countries. The programme delivered some outstanding achievements, including supporting river blindness elimination in three states in Nigeria, improving treatment for refugees and internally displaced people, and building health system resilience and capacity to control and eliminate NTDs.

Hosted online on 6 October, the event will bring together professionals from across the NTD and public health sectors to meet and discuss the journey towards eliminating NTDs.

Topics will include:

  • The Ascend West and Central Africa programme’s impact on strengthening health systems
  • How the programme supported the elimination of NTDs
  • The programme’s ‘leave no one behind’ approach, and how it was able to reach marginalised groups
  • How the programme adapted to the challenges posed by COVID-19
  • What are the next steps towards NTD elimination, and the biggest challenges coming our way?

You can register to attend online via the event page on the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene’s website. The event will run from 1–5pm (BST).

The Ascend-focused collection of research papers is part of a three-year partnership, in which RSTMH will be using its scientific journals and other communications channels to help disseminate the key outputs and learnings from Sightsavers’ lead programmes. The hope is that this will inspire others to take strides towards, or continue in their efforts to, eliminating NTDs, strengthening healthcare systems and ensuring no one is left behind.

Research plays a key role in supporting Sightsavers’ work to tackle avoidable blindness, eliminate NTDs, and promote disability rights and inclusion. We use the evidence we generate to improve the quality and effectiveness of our programmes, and to inform our programmes and advocacy in the countries where we operate.

Ophthalmic nurse Suraju helps a young girl wash her hands using water from a teapot.

Join the event online

Register to attend the event on 6 October which brings together experts from across the Ascend West and Central Africa programme to share learnings.

Sign up for the event

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