January 30th is the second annual World Neglected Tropical Disease Day. Over one billion of the world’s poorest, most marginalized people are affected by neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), which often cause debilitating pain, illness, and lifelong disabilities. These diseases trap people in poverty and make it impossible for them to work, learn, or care for their families.
The good news is that these diseases are preventable and treatable. NTD partners including USAID have been supporting endemic countries’ efforts to eliminate and control NTDs through programs such as Act to End NTDs | West (Act | West). To guide countries and partners in these efforts, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the 2021-2030 Road Map for NTDs on January 28, 2021.
In fiscal year 2019 alone, over 50 million people were treated for at least one NTD in the 11 African countries supported by Act | West. Two of these countries have eliminated at least one NTD as a public health problem. Today, over 93 million people in Act | West-supported countries no longer require treatment for lymphatic filariasis and over 65 million no longer need trachoma treatments.
Act | West is also working to help countries build resilient, sustainable NTD programs by supporting government-led NTD sustainability plans, fostering cross-sector collaboration on NTDs, and mainstreaming NTD services and indicators into national health systems.
As we celebrate World NTD Day on January 30th, the Act | West team salutes the national NTD programs for the tremendous progress achieved to date, and we reaffirm our commitment to supporting our implementing countries as they work toward finishing the job and sustaining their gains.
Learn more about Act | West’s: