World NTD Day 2024 

Posted 26th February 2024 by Louise Marston

For World NTD Day 2024, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases’ Co-Chair, Lord Trees (Professor of veterinary parasitology and a Crossbench member of the House of Lords), organised an event together with the UK Coalition Against Neglected Tropical Diseases at the UK House of Lords under the theme “Unite, Act, Eliminate” to commemorate World NTD Day on 30 January.  

The reception highlighted the progress and challenges in the fight against neglected tropical diseases, bringing together members of parliament, global health organisations and researchers. 

The event was introduced by Lord Trees, followed by Fidel Strub, Co-Founder and Director of Elysium Noma Survivors Association, who discussed his own experience of Noma and how the effects could have been avoided if there was more awareness of the disease and earlier interventions. Fidel co-founded the association to advocate for Noma awareness and support others affected. 

Dr Socé Fall, Director of the Department of Control of NTDs, spoke about health inequality, followed by Dr Dinu Guruge, Consultant for Dengue Global Program at Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), who spoke about DNDi and the dengue alliance. Dr Dinu also spoke about the epidemiology work taking place and the need for innovation. 

Lastly Tijana Williams, Director of Albendazole Drug Donation Program GSK, spoke about drug donation and the work by the Albendazole Drug Donation Program, and Dr Wendy Harrison, CEO of Unlimit Health and Coalition against NTDs representative, who discussed the needs for NTDs and encouraged stakeholders to unite. 

They also showed two videos, one showcasing the work taking place in Bangladesh by the WHO and the dengue outbreak, and another by Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, the WHO Regional Director for Southeast Asia, showcasing the progress and the need to sustain efforts in tackling NTDs. 

Other attendees included Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (RSTMH), The Social Sciences for Severe Stigmatising Skin Conditions (5S) Foundation, The International Podoconiosis Initiative, International Coalition for Trachoma Control (ICTC) and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR)

The reception also emphasised the disproportionate impact NTDs have on women and girls, the effects of poverty and the role of British scientists and health organisations working towards creating a world with health equity. Additionally, they announced the children’s NTD poster competition winners. 

“Time to unite, act and eliminate”.