To commemorate the World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Day, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, emphasizes the need for reflection on progress made and a renewed commitment to eliminate NTDs globally and in Africa.
Under the theme “Unite. Act. Eliminate,” Dr. Moeti calls for collective efforts to address the severe impact of these diseases on the well-being and livelihoods of billions worldwide.
Dr. Moeti urges individuals and communities to take action by spreading awareness, advocating with those in power, and mobilizing resources. The goal is to build a world where no one lives with river blindness, leprosy does not lead to societal shunning, and anemia from soil-transmitted worms does not debilitate individuals.
She emphasized the importance of collaboration, individual action, and the ultimate goal of eradicating these debilitating diseases.
Moeti also urged individuals and communities to act by raising awareness, advocating for change, and mobilizing resources necessary to combat NTDs, addressing the inequalities they perpetuate.
Highlighting Africa’s progress, she said the WHO Regional Office for Africa and the Expanded Special Project for Elimination of NTDs (ESPEN) have successfully reduced the number of people requiring interventions against NTDs by 18 million, with 19 countries eliminating at least one NTD.
The Regional Director explained that despite progress, Africa still bears 40% of the global burden of NTD cases, prompting a call to address persistent challenges and implement clear roadmaps toward ending NTDs.
Moeti said the WHO remains steadfast in supporting regional efforts to eliminate NTDs once and for all.