The Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on Thursday signed the Kigali Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), a high-level, political declaration aimed at ensuring that these diseases are eradicated, eliminated or controlled by 2030.
The declaration was made at The Kigali Summit on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) hosted by President Paul Kagame.
According to details, this Declaration focuses on country ownership of NTD programmes, integration and cross-sectoral collaboration to ensure long-term sustainability.
Its development was the subject of an extensive consultation process involving a wide range of stakeholders, from donors to youth representatives, culminating in the country task force co-chaired by Ministers of Health of Rwanda and Nigeria.
ThokoPooley the Director CombatNTDs an agency Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases told delegates, “The Kigali Declaration on NTDS launched today, is a solemn commitment from leaders [and citizens] to acknowledge that NTDS are diseases of poverty and inequality, and we all need to take collective action to end them.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie noted; “When we say neglected tropical diseases, I can’t help but wonder: neglected by who? Neglected by us. We tend to forget there are so many diseases killing people and blighting lives. Today is about putting an end to that.”
Despite significant gains in the first decades of the century, malaria and NTDs continue to pose risks of death and life-changing illness to an enormous proportion of the world’s population.
In 2019 alone, half of humanity was at risk of malaria, whilst over 1.7 billion people were affected by the group of 20 diseases collectively known as NTDs.
In recent years, progress against malaria had begun to plateau as investment stalled, and for NTDs, investments have historically been low.
For both diseases, the COVID-19 pandemic has put future gains at risk, and is threatening recent progress.
The summit is a vital moment for leaders to show how we can get back on track to deliver the promise to end these diseases.
Achievements of The Kigali Summit
The Kigali Summit will be an historic moment convening Heads of State and Government, CEOs, philanthropists, scientific experts, global institutions, celebrities, and community champions, to bring united global attention to malaria and NTDs in the time of COVID-19.
Guided by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, the Summit seeks to achieve the following:
- Showcase how malaria and NTD programmes have strengthened community-based systems that have been and can be used to respond to COVID-19 and future health crisis.
- Share learning on how to deliver malaria and NTD programming whilst responding to COVID-19, and drive good practice to maximise ‘win-win’ investments that can build more resilient health systems.
- Mobilize and profile vital donor government commitments to the fight against malaria and NTDs, including Heads of State and government-level leadership and investment.
- Recognize and incentivise the leadership of endemic countries by showcasing action taken to fight malaria and NTDs, particularly around new innovations, building stronger front line health systems and regional cooperation.
- Provide national leaders with a platform to announce their focus on malaria beyond the existing commitment in 2023, in order to achieve regional and global targets for 2030 across the Commonwealth.
- Provide a platform to sign the Kigali Declaration on NTDs which is country-led and owned.
Provide national leaders with a platform to announce commitments towards NTDs in order to reach the 2030 global targets and achieve the 2030 WHO NTD Roadmap on NTDs.