Over this past weekend (Nov. 16—18, 2012) the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank hosted “Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases: Translating the London Declaration into Action.”
The meetings brought together NTD partners from around the world to discuss progress since the January 30, 2012 London Declaration and build on the pledges made by various partners, including pharmaceutical companies, national governments and NGOs to control or eliminate the most common NTDs by 2020.
To kick off the weekend, the Global Network hosted a roundtable that included current NTD donors and supporters as well as other bilateral representatives and foundations that are relatively new to the NTD community. The group discussed the major progress that had been towards NTD control and elimination as well as opportunity for new supporters to become involved and help us meet our 2020 goal.
Following the Global Network’s event, the World Bank hosted an opening reception featuring newly appointed World Bank president, Dr. Jim Yong Kim. In his remarks, Dr. Kim noted:
“Tackling these diseases in a coordinated way saves lives and money, and requires expanding lessons that we have learned from our efforts to eliminate river blindness—first, a simple community health system approach, and second, partnerships with pharmaceutical companies for free supply of drugs.”
The weekend continued with several panels and side meetings to discuss research and development, resource mobilization techniques, effective collaboration and innovation, and action items for the future. On Sunday morning, the Global Network’s communication director, Richard Hatzfeld chaired a breakout session on NTD advocacy and how to build public awareness for our issue.
“The puzzle pieces are starting to fall into place,” said Sabin president Dr. Peter Hotez. “These meetings brought together NGOs, pharmaceutical companies, the World Bank and many other voices not only to discuss the problem, but develop a feasible plan for solving it. This means more research and development for new treatments and vaccines, new funding and increased involvement from pharmaceutical companies. “
You can view a full list of the events and breakout sessions at UnitingtoCombatNTDs.org