Category Archives: UK government

Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases: A Conversation on Progress



Two years ago, global health leaders convened in London to hold the most significant international meeting on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in history. The event galvanized major commitments from a diverse set of partners to eliminate or control 10 NTDs by 2020 – these commitments are now known as the London Declaration.

This Wednesday on April 2nd, The Global Network will once again join this unique group of partners to discuss progress toward the promises made in 2012.

Since the London Declaration on NTDs, The US, UK, and the World Bank have deepened their commitments, and NTDs are now being prioritized in global health and development agendas. In addition, control, prevention and research efforts for NTDs have expanded.

The London declaration also sparked new collaboration between public and private partners. These partnerships are identifying innovative, concrete solutions for delivering good health and strong economic futures to the world’s poorest people.

The progress we’ve seen since 2012 is also due in large part to the work of endemic countries in drafting and implementing national NTD plans. Through their national plans, countries burdened by NTDs are funding and driving their own solutions.

We invite you to tune into a live webcast of the April 2nd event in Paris. You’ll hear from Bill Gates, Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization, along with other distinguished panelists.

Feel free to tweet about the event using the hashtag #NTD progress. The live webcast will run from 12:00 to 1:30 EST. To tune in, click here.

En Garde! The Fight against NTDs Returns to Belgium



Picture by Antoine Motte dit Falisse

The Belgian Foreign Affairs Committee was delighted on Wednesday, June 26th to receive Dr. Neeraj Mistry, Managing Director of the Global Network. Neeraj was invited by the Committee to present on the global impact of NTDs and the solutions now available to control or eliminate the seven most common NTDs by the end of the decade. The presentation marked Neeraj’s second visit with the Belgian committee, after he and President Kufuor had lunch with the Foreign Affairs Committee members in March during the Global Network’s winter advocacy trip to Belgium and France.

Belgium has already had an important impact on the fight against NTDs. From 1974 through today, Belgium has consistently contributed to the Onchocerciasis Control Programme (OCP) and its successor, the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC). The OCP and APOC are credited with restoring 25 million hectares of land previously infested with the black flies that transmit onchocerciasis―enough land to feed 17 million people each year!  Belgium is also carrying out a long-term sleeping sickness control program in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, investing in public-private partnerships for NTD R&D, and has highlighted the importance of addressing NTDs in its official global health policy note.

The Global Network is delighted to see the Belgian Foreign Affairs Committee take interest in expanding Belgium’s commitments to NTDs, and hopes that we can continue to work together to see the end of these diseases by 2020.

Examining the link between food security and deworming

Panel Members at Parliament Event on Food Security

Panel Members at Food Security Event in Parliament. Photo provided by Partnership for Child Development.

Today, the former president of Ghana and winner of the World Food Prize 2011, H.E John Kufuor, spoke to the U.K. Parliament about how school feeding programs can help millions of people currently living in poverty.

The event – “Linking local agriculture, nutrition and education: Innovations to improve food security” –was sponsored by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development and the Partnership for Child Development, Imperial College London (PCD).

In coordination with PCD and Deworm the World, the Global Network shared information at the event about combining deworming efforts with school feeding programs in order to strengthen agriculture, health and education programs.

Parasitic worm infections often undermine existing school feeding programs by causing malnutrition and anemia even in children who are well-fed.  Additionally, school-based deworming programs have been linked to improved school attendance and performance, as well as increased earning potential over the long-term.

At the Global Network we’ve often touted the successes of integrating the work of Ministries of Health and Education.  Combining this work with Ministry of Agriculture efforts to create predictable demand for agriculture products will provide a more comprehensive approach to food security that could change the reality of poverty and hunger across the developing world.  Now that’s innovation!

For more information on the event, click here.


UK announces five-fold increase in funding for NTDs

Over the weekend, Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID) announced a five-fold increase in their aid for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).  Between 2011 and 2015, they will increase their support for NTDs to £245 million.

According to Stephen O’Brien, the International Development Minister, this increase in funding will enable Britain to protect and treat 140 million people in the developing world by providing more than four treatments every second for the next four years.

He said, “British support will take the neglected out of neglected tropical diseases and will not just save lives – but transform lives. By preventing the spread of these diseases and treating their victims, we will enable them to go to school and work so that they can help themselves out of poverty and eventually no longer rely on aid.”

The increased aid will be focused on eliminating lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), onchocerciasis (trachoma) and schistosomiasis (snail fever), in addition to Guinea worm.

DFID’s announcement comes in advance of the Gates Foundation conference on January 30, 2012 in London, which will bring together governments, NGOs and the private sector to announce new and renew existing commitments to NTD prevention and treatment.

This is great news for the NTD community as a whole and in particular for The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI), two of the Global Network’s founding partners that will now receive additional funding.  Raising awareness about the need for this type of funding is why we launched our new END7 campaign, so we’re hopeful that many other public and private partners will follow Britain’s lead in the coming months.

Read more about the announcement in their press release here.