In March 2013, heads of state and senior ministerial officials from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will gather in Durban, South Africa for the fifth annual BRICS Summit. Later in the year, in September, G20 leaders will meet in St. Petersburg, Russia for the G20 Summit.
These upcoming meetings represent a huge opportunity for the NTD community. By pooling resources, expertise and influence, these influential international bodies have an opportunity to raise the profile of the NTD problem and galvanize concerted action at the global level on behalf of hundreds of millions of marginalized people who do not have a voice.
Efforts by the BRICS and G20 countries to improve food security, education and economic growth are all issues undermined by NTDs. Recognizing this, two new policy papers prepared by the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases ahead of the BRICS and G20 summits, a G20 call to action and a BRICS call to action, highlight the need to include NTDs in broader development and economic policies.
As a group, the BRICS countries have unique, fresh perspectives to share with NTD endemic countries and other development partners, drawing on the valuable technical expertise they have acquired while addressing their own public health challenges, including efforts to combat NTDs.
Similarly, while world leaders will focus on economic growth and job creation at the upcoming G20 Summit, this group has an opportunity to elevate issues like NTDs and malnutrition, which hinder economic growth in countries around the world.
International political advocacy is one way we can help promote change needed to end inequality and suffering caused by NTDs. Interested in the subject? End the Neglect readers are encouraged to read through and share these call to action papers.
Here they are again:
To read more about the social and economic impact of NTDs, please click here: