Many important issues and good causes are honored with a memorial day. Is there really a need for an additional world day? When it comes to Neglected Tropical Diseases, we believe there is. Paying attention to NTDs is paying attention to people living in extreme poverty.
More than 300 organizations, including SANTD, are turning the 30th of January into the first ever World NTD Day. The day is intended as a sign of solidarity with those suffering from neglected diseases in neglected regions of the world.
Neglected Tropical Diseases continue to be neglected
The World NTD Day coincides with this year’s launch of the G-FINDER report. Published annually by the global think tank Policy Cures Research, the G-FINDER report tracks global investments in the fight against infectious diseases. At first glance, the newest findings give reason to celebrate: for the third year in row, funding for research and drug development for neglected diseases has reach a record high of more than US$4.05 billion in 2018. But the progress has been uneven, with funding for Neglected Tropical Diseases flatlining and even regressing. Unless given more visibility, Neglected Tropical Diseases are likely to remain neglected for the foreseeable future.
Rallying behind a new WHO roadmap
Memorial days such as the World NTD Day shine a spotlight on forgotten issues and encourage communities to join forces and tackle challenges with combined strength. With a new and more ambitious WHO roadmap on Neglected Tropical Diseases on the horizon, the community will have the opportunity to turn 2020 into the year of Neglected Tropical Diseases. During the next 10 years, the road map will aim to eradicate two Neglected Tropical Diseases, to reduce deaths caused by Neglected Tropical Diseases by 75 percent and to eliminate at least one Neglected Tropical Disease in 100 different countries. The almost 300 signatories of the World NTD Day will work hard to ensure that these goals receive the necessary financial and political support.