Category Archives: NTDs

Friday Reading List

Friday Reading List

Parliamentarians Prioritize Global Health Innovation in the European Parliament

 

The following is a guest blog post from Andrea Corazza, European Advocacy Officer, Global Health Advocates*

Through its policies, legislation and bilateral/regional trade agreements, the European Union (EU) has a major impact on global health both in terms of research and development (R&D) of new and improved medicines for Poverty-Related and Neglected Diseases[1] (PRNDs) and their accessibility to populations in developing countries.

To ensure that EU policies deliver a coherent, comprehensive and pro-active response to address these issues, Global Health Advocates and the Médecins Sans Frontières Access Campaign created the European Parliament Working Group on Innovation, Access to Medicines and Poverty-Related Diseases together with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) back in 2009.

This Working Group provides a platform to ensure that global health issues remain high on the EU agenda and to advocate for the adoption of EU policies that stimulate innovation for urgently-needed health tools and improve access to existing medicines, diagnostics and vaccines. The working group regularly organises high-level events, meetings and occasionally field visits for MEPs, EU institutions’ staff and parliamentarians from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries to show, among others, the impact of R&D gaps on the health of populations in developing countries and foster the understanding of decision-makers on these issues.

Following recent elections at the European Parliament in May 2014, the Working Group, which gathers about 300 members from a broad range of stakeholders, is renewing its membership to bring additional energy and commitment to its work and activities. Former members have testified about the importance of the Group and are inviting new MEPs to join  via this short and inspiring video:

Both Horizon 2020, the EU €70 billion Research and Innovation Programme, and the continuation of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), a partnership between the European Commission and several European and African countries, present great opportunities to increase the EU’s contribution towards research and innovation for PRNDs in the coming years. By raising the profile of these issues, contributing to annual budget negotiations and using their power of scrutiny over EU policies, members of the Working Group will play a crucial role in ensuring that EU institutions are engaged in the fight against PRNDs both politically and financially.

To join the Working Group or for further information, please send an email to ep-accessgroup@msf.org

*Global Health Advocates is a non-governmental organisation based in Paris and Brussels that advocates for policy change at the highest political level and mobilizes resources to tackle major health threats and build sustainable health systems.


[1] As intended here, PRNDs include the three big diseases of poverty (HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria) and the 17 Neglected Tropical Diseases recognized by the World Health Organization.

Ghana Launches NTD Master Plan, Mass Drug Administration Campaign, Celebrates Billionth NTD Treatment

 

The Global Network is happy to share END in Africa’s announcement congratulating Ghana on the launch of its NTD master plan and and 2014 strategic mass drug administration campaign. View the original post here

On Thursday, July 3, 2014, the Government of Ghana launched both its Ghana Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) master plan and its 2014 strategic mass drug administration (MDA) campaign, while also celebrating the One Billionth NTD Treatment delivered globally with USAID support. USAID funds the END in Africa project, which supports Ghana Health Services (GHS) and the Ghana’s NTD program in providing medicines that protect 26.3 million Ghanaians from contracting NTDs such as trachoma, onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths.

Ghana Minister of Health Hon. Sherry Ayittey with Queen Mothers from the Greater Accra Region

Ghana Minister of Health Hon. Sherry Ayittey with Queen Mothers from the Greater Accra Region at Ghana NTD Master Plan and 2014 MDA Campaign Launch. Photo: FHI360

At a colorful event at Accra’s La Beach Hotel today, Ghana’s Minister of Health Hon. Sherry Ayittey presided over the launch of the country’s NTD master plan and 2014 MDA campaign. Along with Acting Director of USAID/Ghana Peter Trenchard, the Hon. Minister Ayittey presented certificates and awards to Community Health Volunteer Madam Mary Becheyiri and NTD Program Technical Officer Mr. Alhassan Ahmed, who represented the many thousands of unsung heroes in Ghana’s NTD elimination and control efforts.

Ghana Minister of Health Hon. Sherry Ayittey and USAID/Ghana Acting Director Andrew Karas Present Award to Community Health Volunteer Madam Mary Becheyiri, who was selected as one of Ghana's NTD unsung heroes

Ghana Minister of Health Hon. Sherry Ayittey and USAID/Ghana Acting Director Peter Trenchard Present Award to Community Health Volunteer Madam Mary Becheyiri, who was selected as one of Ghana’s NTD unsung heroes. Photo: FHI360

Under the direction of Rebecca Ackwonu, Public Relations Officer for the Director General of the GHS and Master of Ceremonies for today’s event, a symbolic MDA took place, led by a community health volunteer. The event was chaired by Nii La Mantse, a paramount chief of La, where the event took place.

Also in attendance were Acting Director of USAID’s Ghana Mission Peter Trenchard, Queen mothers from the Greater Accra Region, Director General of the Ghana Health Service Dr. Ebenezar Appiah-Denkyira, Ghana NTD Programme Manager Dr. Nana Kwadwo Biritwum, as well as many other directors and programme managers from the Ghana Health Service. NTD partners from organizations such as END in Africa, FH1360, the Volta River Authority, the Partnership for Child Development, Liverpool Centre for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD), Sight Savers Ghana, the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) were also represented.

For an overview of the day’s activities, see the Ghana Event Program Agenda.

Read the story on the event published in Ghana’s Daily Graphic Newspaper.