World NTD Day

Join us on 30 January to kick off a defining year in the fight to eliminate neglected tropical diseases.

Children celebrate at school leading up to the one billionth NTD treatment.

On 30 January Sightsavers is joining celebrations to launch the first-ever World NTD Day, an annual event that raises awareness of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and calls on the global community to work to eliminate them.

This new event marks the eighth anniversary of the 2012 London Declaration on NTDs – a landmark global agreement to push for greater action on eliminating NTDs. World NTD Day will not only honour this incredible show of support, but also inspire and rally those partners behind the fight to eliminate these preventable conditions.

Extraordinary progress has been made towards the elimination of NTDs:

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 Neglected Tropical Disease Day?

The celebration takes place every year on 30 January, which in 2020 falls on a Thursday.

Countries have eliminated an NTD since 2012
The first sub-Saharan African county to eliminate trachoma
Drop in risk of trachoma announced by the WHO

Sightsavers is proud to work with a network of local and global partners to combat NTDs. Together we have delivered more than one billion treatments to communities at risk. We lead the UK aid-funded Ascend programme, which aims to treat five diseases in 13 countries over the next three years. Sightsavers also spearheads the Accelerate programme, which is supporting 14 countries to make significant progress towards eliminating blinding trachoma.

Despite great developments, the global mission to eliminate NTDs has not yet been achieved. More funding, collaboration and support is needed to rid the world of these painful and poverty-trapping conditions.

What is Sightsavers doing?

A young boy stands outside in the sun wearing light coloured clothes. There is a small house to the left and a tree to the right.

Sightsavers surgeon featured on BBC for World NTD Day

Our sight-saving work in rural Kenya was featured in BBC coverage for World NTD Day 2020.

January 2020
A group of female and male community volunteers stand for a portrait holding dose poles.
Sightsavers from the field

World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day: highlights from around the world

On 30 January, Sightsavers joined in celebrations for the first ever World NTD Day around the world.

January 2020
A nurse helps wash a woman who has lymphatic filariasis wash her swollen leg.
Sightsavers from the field

Caring for patients in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo may have the highest burdens of neglected tropical diseases, but people on the ground are working to protect communities.

January 2020

Why is the elimination of 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.

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

What are neglected tropical diseases?

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

Find out more
Since the operation I have learnt about the importance of washing my face and hands.
Yabiy, Ethiopia
A lady smiles broadly at the camera with her home in Ethiopia in the distance behind her.

2020 will be a decisive year for NTDs. Later in the year, the World Health Organization (WHO) is expected to launch new NTD goals to guide progress until 2030. In response, leaders will have the opportunity and responsibility to recommit to beating NTDs and put political and financial resources behind their words.

Together we can enhance the health, quality of life and future wellbeing of people affected by neglected tropical diseases.

You can help us fight neglected tropical diseases