This morning leaders from 13 pharmaceutical companies, governments of the United States, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank and other global health organizations gathered at the “London Declaration” on NTDs meeting to announce their support for eliminating 10 NTDs by 2020.
The announcement is big. In the largest coordinated effort to date, the group announced that they will provide hundreds of millions of dollars to support R&D efforts and strengthen drug distribution and implementation programs.
Today’s event goes beyond an announcement about drug and money donations. Today NTDs are in the spotlight. Stakeholders from around the world are talking about the London Declaration and NTDs through multiple traditional and social media channels. Our very own Peter Hotez, M.D., Ph.D., president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, published an op-ed this morning in the Huffington Post. Global Health journalist Sarah Boseley also wrote an article about the event for The Guardian.
Using hashtags like #NTDs and #LondonDeclaration, Twitter users posted more than 350 tweets in just an hour and half. The END7 campaign was a large part of the conversation, tweeting live from the event.
If this momentum continues, it won’t be long until we can take the “neglected” out of neglected tropical diseases. With popular support and with all stakeholders working together, we really can see the end of these diseases by 2020.
Read more in this press release by the Global Network, which includes statements from NTD champions Neeraj Mistry and Alan Fenwick.
You can also watch the London Declaration meeting here.