Uniting to Combat NTDs progress report and Lancet editorial

The April 2014 London Declaration meeting in Paris included the release of Uniting to Combat NTD's 2013 progress report.

11 April 2014

On April 2, 2014, global health leaders gathered at the Institut Pasteur in Paris to celebrate the second anniversary of the London Declaration to control, eliminate or eradicate 10 NTDs by 2020. The meeting saw the release of Uniting to Combat NTDs: Delivering on Promises and Driving Progressa report on the status of NTD control efforts. The report, coordinated by the London Declaration Stakeholders Working Group, identified key achievements and challenges:

Progress

  • Growing endemic-country ownership of control efforts, with national NTD master plans developed in over 70 countries
  • Rising drug demand, with nearly 1.35 billion treatments donated in 2013, a 35% increase since 2011 that reflects rising demand. 
  • Funding for NTDs has increased, with a new consortium of funders announcing $120 million in support for NTD programmes. The World Bank has also pledged $120 million. 
  • Ramping up of NTD control and elimination programmes, evidenced by success stories like onchocerciasis elimination in Colombia and guinea worm elimination in Nigeria, Niger and Ivory Coast, and the integration of APOC's lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis treatment programmes.
  • New tools as a result of advances in research and development, like a LF test strip and rapid point-of-care tests for human African trypanosomiasis

Challenges

  • Mobilising more financial resources to support programme implementation
  • Doing more to leverage the value of donated drugs
  • Enhancing the impact of existing resources
  • Providing technical support to endemic countries to build their capacity and increase impact of their NTD control and elimination efforts
  • Increasing collaboration across sectors to scale up programmes
  • Investing in product development and operational research

Read the report.

The Lancet published an editorial in its April 12 issue hailing progress identified in the report, but adding challenges that were left out. These include robust monitoring of NTD programmes, long-term sustainability and continued equity in NTD control, and the establishment of coherent and sustainable health and social protection systems.

The Paris meeting also included a webcast panel discussion with Dr. Margaret Chan, Bill Gates, Jamie Cooper-Hohn from CIFF, Dr. Tim Evans of the World Bank, Chris Viehbacher from Sanofi and Onésime Ndayishimiye from Burundi's Ministry of Health. 

The Guardian spoke to Bill Gates about increased funding towards NTDs.