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World NTD Day

Each year in January, we join forces with organisations around the world to raise awareness about eliminating neglected tropical diseases.

Woman wearing face mask washing hands from a kettle

Each year in January, Sightsavers celebrates the hard-earned progress on the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and calls on the global community to work together to eliminate them.

Neglected tropical diseases are a group of 20 conditions that affect more than a billion people around the world, mainly in rural regions, poor urban areas and conflict zone. The diseases have devastating health, social and economic consequences. But they are preventable and treatable.

Much progress has been made towards eliminating NTDs over the past decade. But despite this progress, more work is needed to finish the job. We need more funding and collaboration to rid the world of these diseases.

A group of women wait for their turn to be screened at a trachoma outreach camp in the Pwani region of eastern Tanzania.

When is World NTD Day?

The celebration takes place every year on 30 January.

500 million
people are no longer at risk of NTDs
40
countries have eliminated at least one NTD
1 billion +
people have been treated annually in the past four years

2021 has been a decisive year: the World Health Organization launched its  NTD Road Map 2021-2030, which sets global targets and milestones to prevent, control, eliminate or eradicate these diseases. By 2030, it aims to reduce the number of people requiring treatment by 90 per cent.

Sightsavers is proud to work with a network of local and global partners, supporting governments in more than 30 countries to combat NTDs. Together, we have delivered over 1.2 billion treatments to communities at risk since 2001.

Our largest multiple NTD programme to date is the UK aid-funded Ascend West and Central Africa programme, which aims to treat and make major progress in eliminating five diseases in 13 countries over the next three years. It also supported ministries in 11 programme countries with COVID-19 prevention and preparedness mass media behaviour change campaigns – so far reaching more than 115 million people.

Sightsavers also spearheads the Accelerate programme, which is supporting 14 countries to make significant progress towards eliminating blinding trachoma. In 2020, we adapted these programmes to deliver much-needed treatments in a safe way during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Children in Malawi queue up to have their eyes checked by an eye health worker.

Neglected tropical diseases

We help to treat and prevent five debilitating diseases that affect more than a billion people.

Our NTD work

How can I help?

Join the conversation now by sharing these messages on your social media.

  • Since 2010 500 million people are no longer at risk of painful neglected tropical diseases (#NTDs). But there is much to be done for the one billion still at risk. As #WorldNTDDay approaches I’m calling on the global community to work together to #BeatNTDs https://www.sightsavers.org/world-ntd-day/
  • As @WHO launches #NTDroadmap2030, @Sightsavers are celebrating the vital work of governments, donors, partners and volunteers. This work ensures that much-needed treatment reaches people even in remote communities. #NTDRoadMap2030 #EndTheNeglect #beatNTDs https://www.sightsavers.org/journey-of-the-treatment/

Why is eliminating NTDs so important?

Neglected tropical diseases, a group of parasitic infections, are a major cause of preventable blindness and disability. They affect more than a billion people worldwide and can cause severe and lifelong impairment.

These debilitating diseases are most prevalent in rural regions, poor urban areas and conflict zones. They not only affect people’s health, but they also take away their opportunities to go to school or earn a living. Also, the associated stigma can have a devastating impact on those affected, as well as their families and communities.

Yet neglected tropical diseases can be prevented, treated and eliminated.

Sightsavers and our partners train hundreds of surgeons to provide sight-restoring and pain-relieving surgery; we work with thousands of local volunteers to distribute generously donated treatments; and we conduct in-depth research to evaluate, inform and improve our programme strategies.

Together we are helping to protect people against NTDs, teach them about the importance of good hygiene to prevent infection, and to eliminate these diseases more quickly and fairly.

You can help save someone’s sight

I would like to make a donation

Could protect 180 people from blinding trachoma.

Could pay for an operation to treat advanced trachoma.

Could protect 720 people from blinding trachoma.

$
We're sorry, but the minimum donation we can take is $3
We're sorry, but we cannot process a donation of this size online. Please contact us on [email protected] for assistance donating over $15,000

Could protect 75 people from blinding trachoma.

Could pay for an operation to treat advanced trachoma.

Could pay for two operations to treat advanced trachoma.

$
We're sorry, but the minimum donation we can take is $3
We're sorry, but we cannot process a donation of this size online. Please contact us on [email protected] for assistance donating over $15,000