“Health is Everyone’s Business”: How Togo is Tackling Sustainable Neglected Tropical Disease Services

Health leaders of the Togo Ministry of Health, Public Hygiene and Universal Access to Care Togo Ministry of Health, along with program officials from the ministries of economy and finance, education, agriculture, and youth and partner organizations gathered in Lomé on November 11th to launch and disseminate the country’s Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) sustainability plan.  This plan aims to integrate NTD activities across the country’s public and private sectors.  The momentous event was a culmination of a planning process that Togo began in 2019. The event also marked the beginning of Togo’s implementation of the plan.  Togo’s Prefect of the Gulf, urged “all stakeholders and participants in this meeting to endorse the Sustainability Plan and join forces to support its implementation.”

Banner at political validation event for Togo’s sustainability plan. Photo credit:USAID's Act to End NTDs | West/HDI,Togo.

 Togo has become a global leader in reaching key NTD milestones, as evidenced by the elimination of lymphatic filariasis in 2017, the elimination of sleeping sickness in 2020, and the pending elimination of trachoma. The country has also made significant progress over the past decade in the fight against NTDs including onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis.  The country has aligned its plans to World Health Organization’s (WHO) sustainability framework for action against NTDs, whose goals include identifying sustainable pathways towards preserving the progress achieved in elimination and control of NTDs: elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis, Trachoma, Onchocerciasis, Schistosomiasis, and control of Soil-transmitted Helminthiasis. 

The signing of the sustainability plan, which occurred three days prior to the November 11th launch event, recognized Togo’s progress in its strengthening of health systems, policy, finance, and supply chains for the ongoing implementation of NTD interventions.  In the plan’s preface, Minister of Health Professeur Moustafa Mijiyawa urged “the actors of other sectors whose role is decisive in the fight against NTDs to make their contribution to the successful implementation of the plan to perpetuate the achievements of the fight against NTDs."

In advance of the event, USAID sent a statement of congratulations, noting Togo’s “championing the importance of sustainability.”  USAID also recognized that Togo’s investment in disease surveillance and provision of health care to people who had earlier infections will enable them to “quickly confront future cases, preserving gains made thus far.” 

Togo political validation event with Communication Advisor to the Minister of Health (standing), USAID representative (left side of table), Chief of Staff to the Minister of Health (middle of table), Prefect of the Gulf (right side of table). Photo credit: USAID's Act to End NTDs | West/HDI,Togo.

At the start of the event, Togo’s Chief of Staff to the Minister of Health, Mme Akapo Midamegbe, delivered remarks on the importance of the plan, noting that, “health is everyone’s business, not just that of the Minister of Health.” Her remarks were followed by presentations about the process used to create the plan and the priority interventions to be included in the plan. 

Togo’s sustainability plan proposes integrated interventions through a participatory approach among all NTD partner stakeholders in Togo. Attendees of the event included representatives from other health programs and services of the MOH, Departmental Director of Health, other ministries, technical and financial partners, administrative authorities, journalists, and communication specialists.

Learn more about Togo’s political validation event on the Togo’s MOH website:

Le Togo valide son plan de pérennisation des acquis de la lutte contre les maladies tropicales négligées à chimiothérapie préventive – Ministère de la Santé, de l’Hygiène Publique et de l'Accès Universel aux Soins (gouv.tg)