Senior Act | West Staff Join NNN Leadership

2019-2020 NNN Leadership. Photo: International Coalition for Trachoma Control
USAID’s Act to End NTDs | West program’s Dr. Kisito Ogoussan elected Vice Chair of Neglected Tropical Disease NGO Network for 2019–2020, Dr. Ernest Mensah selected as Vice Chair of the Lymphatic Filariasis Network. Photo: ICTC
Liverpool, UK

On September 19, 2019, the Neglected Tropical Disease NGO Network (NNN) named FHI 360’s Dr. Kisito Ogoussan, Implementation Management Lead on USAID’s Act to End NTDs | West program (Act | West), as its new Vice Chair for 2019–2020. The announcement came at the 2019 annual meeting in Liverpool, UK, as the NNN celebrated its tenth year of NGO partnership and collaboration.

FHI 360’s Dr. Ernest Mensah was named Vice Chair for the NNN’s Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) Network at the same meeting. Based in Accra, Ghana, Dr. Mensah serves as Regional NTD Advisor and LF Focal Point for Act | West. The LF Network, currently chaired by Paul Watson of Lepra, is one of five disease-specific groups housed under the NNN umbrella.

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Dr. Ernest Mensah

Established in 2009 with a vision of a world free from NTDs, the NNN brings together over 150 NGO members worldwide to speak with a unified voice and overcome barriers to beating NTDs through learning and knowledge sharing.

 

In 2019, the NNN launched two statements on sustainability and a commitment to safety. This year, NNN members seek to expand and strengthen partnerships among the NTDs and with the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); disability; education; humanitarian aid; and other sectors.

 

As a trained medical doctor with 23 years of experience working in public health, including over 12 years of work on NTDs, and a founding member of the NNN, Dr. Ogoussan pledged to use his substantial technical knowledge and experience in NTD operations and research and his extensive networking skills to advance the mission and work of the NNN and benefit the entire NTD community.

 

“I will use my relationships, networks and communication skills to strengthen NTD partnerships and to take the NNN to the next level,” he said.

Dr. Kisito Ogoussan speaking at 2019 NNN conference. Photo: International Coalition for Trachoma Control
Dr. Kisito Ogoussan speaking at 2019 NNN conference. Photo: International Coalition for Trachoma Control (ICTC)

Among Dr Ogoussan’s specific goals as NNN vice chair is supporting the concept of an ‘essential package for NTD morbidity management,’ brought up this year in discussions among the Disease Management, Disability and Inclusion group as a top priority. “I will help to promote it so it becomes policy and is implemented at the primary health care level in NTD endemic countries,” he declared.

 

Under the umbrella of this year’s theme “Our Vision Beyond 2020: many partners, one voice,” the 2019 NNN conference provided a platform for participants to discuss cross-cutting approaches to NTD work, strengthening national health systems, expanding cross-sectoral partnerships, and aligning national priorities with the new World Health Organization NTD Roadmap 2021–2030.