Almost ten years on from the first WHO Roadmap for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), we are making considerable progress. But too many of the 1.7 billion people at risk still lack access to appropriate treatment. To mark the second-ever World NTD Day on 30 January and the launch of the new WHO 2030 NTDs Roadmap, we shared these stories of people affected by neglected diseases, and joined with our partners to raise awareness.
Here are some of the highlights:
The innovation neglected patients deserve
This interactive visual story highlighted the progress made for the neglected patients we serve – and showed what innovative new treatments they still deserve.
Innovation and research are key to defeat NTDs in Africa
Dr Monique Wasunna, Director of DNDi Africa, recalls an experience early in her medical career that no doctor wants to have: ‘A young boy died in my arms as we rushed him to the hospital to receive treatment. He had visceral leishmaniasis. He’d been brought 250 km from his village because the treatment was only available at our clinical trial site hospital in Nairobi. But we were too late.’
While prospects for patients have improved dramatically, challenges remain. Dr Wasunna points to the medical research and political leadership needed to bring the neglect to an end.
“We have achieved a lot but we need so much more”: How science can support the WHO 2030 NTDs Roadmap
What are the most critical innovation gaps that must be addressed to achieve the goals of the new NTDs Roadmap? Why is integrating NTD care within national health systems so important? How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the response to NTDs?
Drawing insights from our work driving partnerships and innovation to meet neglected patient’s needs, Dr Nathalie Strub-Wourgaft, DNDi Director of NTDs, highlights some of the key actions needed from the global community.
Light up campaign
The world lights up for NTDs!
On 30 January, over 50 monuments around the world lit up in orange and purple for World NTD Day – sending a powerful message that it’s time to #EndTheNeglect. We were proud to be part of this global effort to raise awareness that now is the time for collaboration and innovation to beat NTDs!
1 in 5 campaign
DNDi team raises awareness for NTDs
Our team participated in this social media campaign, highlighting that 1 in 5 people are affected by neglected tropical diseases.
New MSF report
Overcoming Neglect: Finding ways to manage and control NTDs
In a new report calling for an improved global response to overcome the neglect with better access to diagnosis and safe, effective treatment and care for patients, DNDi Founding Partner Médecins Sans Frontières looks back on more than three decades of work treating patients, carrying out operational research, and supporting efforts to identify new treatments and diagnostics for NTDs.
In the media
Press spotlight on ending the neglect
The UK must take the lead in wiping out the world’s forgotten diseases
Comment by Dr Bernard Pécoul, DNDi Executive Director.
Two-speed science? An appeal for neglected tropical diseases
Opinion editorial by Dr Nathalie Strub-Wourgaft, DNDi Director of NTDs.
The extraordinary scientific mobilization around Covid-19 must also apply to neglected diseases
Opinion editorial by Stéphanie Seydoux, French Ambassador for Global Health, and Dr Bernard Pécoul, DNDi Executive Director.
Innovation and collaboration can help to eliminate neglected tropical diseases
The Economic Times
Opinion editorial by Farhat Mantoo, Director General of Médecins Sans Frontières India, and Dr Suman Rijal, Director of DNDi in India.
Forgotten by medicine
Opinion editorial by Renata Reis, Deputy General Director of Médecins Sans Frontières Brazil and Michel Lotrowska, Regional Director of DNDi Latin America.
Global influencers raise their voices
As part of the World NTD Day, we were pleased to see so many powerful voices join the chorus to end the neglect of NTDs.
Today is the 2nd #WorldNTDDay 2021 & Malaysia is proud to join the global community in a show of solidarity to #BeatNTDs. Our collective action will free the next generation from diseases of poverty to #EndTheNeglect. #NTDs cause 1000’s of preventable deaths each year pic.twitter.com/4EAQCRnHPK— Noor Hisham Abdullah (@DGHisham) January 29, 2021
Pleased to join the launch of the 2021 to 2030 Road Map for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), which aims to prevent, control, eliminate & eradicate 20 NTDs & disease groups, by shifting away from single-disease programmes to integrated approaches. https://t.co/WxxAOWJQHb pic.twitter.com/SymjDVhgZQ— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) January 28, 2021
I was proud to wear these shoes in Abu Dhabi for #WorldNTDDay 2021. Threatening 1.7+ billion globally, neglected tropical diseases cause thousands of preventable deaths each year and assist in perpetuating the poverty cycle. You can help to #EndTheNeglect by bidding @CharityStars https://t.co/jSna8Awpxz— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) January 30, 2021
In the spirit of human fraternity, I invite everyone not to forget the most vulnerable populations, and to give particular attention to neglected tropical diseases that affect the poorest people. Let us promote the necessary treatments so that no one will be left behind.— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) February 6, 2021
Thank you Prime Minister @BorisJohnson and @FCDOGovUK for your continued leadership in the fight to #beatNTDs. Today, on #WorldNTDDay, we are honoured to have your support as we work to #EndTheNeglect of neglected tropical diseases, which affect one in five people on Earth. pic.twitter.com/UcBLRNt1Hj— UnitingtoCombatNTDs (@CombatNTDs) January 30, 2021
Staggering statistics: 1.7 billion people worldwide are affected by neglected tropical diseases. That’s 1 in 5 people on the planet. @VirginUnite is joining with our partners, @Sightsavers, to help spread the word: https://t.co/qvULtgYulB @TheAudaciousPrj— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) February 7, 2021
Photo credit: Fábio Nascimento-DNDi, Neil Brandvold-DNDi