All posts by Johanna Harvey

The London Declaration: One Year Later

This month marks the one-year anniversary of the London Declaration—an unprecedented  pledge by a group of public and private partners to control or eliminate 10 NTDs by 2020. This includes an uptick in drug donations, research and development and bilateral support for NTD programs around the world.

Several reports and updates have been released today to showcase the progress since 2012 as well as the goals and challenges for 2013 and beyond.

London Declaration Scorecard, which was developed to hold partners accountable for their commitments, improve transparency and make visible areas where additional collaboration is possible or where gaps remain.

Caroline Harper, Chair of the UK Coalition against NTDs, and Chief Executive of Sightsavers, says: “Many of the steps forward in the fight against NTDs over the past 12 months are the result of public and private partners working together.  One of the biggest achievements is the development of the London Declaration Scorecard as a new tool to unite all NTD partners.  It will drive collaborative working, outlining the responsibilities of the wide variety of partners involved. Continue reading

Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases: Translating the London Declaration into Action

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

PLoS NTDs Celebrates Its 5th Anniversary

The first issue of PLoS NTDs

The first issue of PLoS NTDs. Photo courtesy of

On Thursday, the open-access journal, PLoS NTDs, celebrated its fifth anniversary. To commemorate this great achievement, the journal compiled editorials and research papers published over the last five years to create a collection called “The Geopolitics of NTDs.”

The collection focuses on the geographic distribution of NTDs by region, inspiring readers to think about the significant regional differences among NTDs and the populations they impact. For example, the major NTDs found in Latin America and Caribbean and their socio-economic effects are quite different than those found in South Asia.

However, there is one overriding similarity in NTD infections across the globe,—they disproportionately infect people living in extreme poverty. As PLoS NTDsSpeaking of Medicine” blog:

“Wherever we find poverty we find the NTDs, whether it’s in Uganda or in the United States.”

Since it began publication in 2007, PLoS NTDsBill and Melinda Gates Foundation, PLoS has been able to offer its readers open access to all of its research and editorials—fulfilling an underserved need in the community.

You can download the special collection on the PLoS NTDs.

END7: Thanks for the Support!

Today was a banner day for the END7 campaign! More than 25 million people learned how easy it is to treat and prevent NTDs! Celebrities like Katy Perry, Stella McCartney, Slash, Norah Jones, Alyssa Milano, The Kooks, Tom Felton, Ewan McGregor and others encouraged their fans and followers to watch our “Mission in a Minute” video and learn more about END7!

Here is the full list of our celebrity supporters:

Aaron Neville EMI Gospel Sevenly
Adrian Lester EMI Music Spain Sick Puppies
Alyssa Milano Ewan McGregor Slade Echeverria
Amos Lee For the Foxes Slash
Anarbor Katy Perry Social Good Moms
Anna Prosser Hopeless Records The Speakers
Astralwerks Leila Lopes Sony Music UK
Baylor College of Medicine Lions Club Stella McCartney
Blue Note Records MC Hammer Sterling Media
CAA Foundation Michael Franti Texas Children’s Hospital
Capitol Records Norah Jones The Kooks
Corey Balsamo Paula Abdul Tom Felton
Danny DeVito RBD Upen Patel
Diamond RCA Label Group UK Virgin Records
Dustin Pari Rosanne Cash Virgin Records UK
EMI Rufus Wainright

Join these stars in spreading the word about how we can begin to see the end of these devastating diseases.  Just click one of the buttons below to send a short tweet!