Efforts to control and eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in African countries got a major boost this week, with the announcement of a $4 million donation from the Kuwait Fund.
The announcement was made at a Donors’ meeting on how to end NTDs, hosted by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa.
NTDs are a diverse group of communicable diseases that prevail in tropical and subtropical conditions. The Viral, parasitic and bacterial diseases such as hookworm, dengue fever, schistosomiasis, leprosy among others mainly affect the world’s poorest people.
Speaking at the event WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said: “We are grateful to KFAED and other partners for their generous donation which will contribute enormously to the fight against NTDs. Elimination of these diseases will give rise to healthier, happier and more productive people and economies globally, particularly in Africa”.
The meeting was attended by leaders from the Middle East, African Health ministries, NGOs, the private sector, global donors, philanthropic organizations, and other stakeholder.
It brought together an extended network of funders and other stakeholders committed to supporting the Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN), a five year project which was launched by the WHO in 2016 to support African countries in tackling the diseases.
The two-day meeting ended on Tuesday with pledges and renewed commitment by stakeholders to end NTDs across the continent.