“All In Support of Universal Immunization and United Against Malaria” Football Tournament Closes out 7th Annual African Vaccination Week in Senegal

This past Sunday, April 30, 2017, on the last day of African Vaccination week, Special Olympics Senegal (SO), alongside Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and Speak Up Africa (SUA), hosted a football match in one of the most densely populated urban areas outside Dakar. This high profile event was branded, “All in Support of Universal Immunization and United Against Malaria”, took place in Pikine, Senegal at the Alassane Djigo Stadium. More than 750 people attended the game, which featured 22 football teams.

This match marked the end of the 7th annual African Vaccination Week (AVW), - a week dedicated to the promotion of the importance of universal access to vaccination... Since vaccination is one of the most cost effective, life saving health interventions, there is a need to increase consumer knowledge that vaccinations need to be up to date at every point in a person’s life for full protection against diseases.

Two diverse and unified teams included the Zero Malaria team in red jerseys and the Vaccination team in green jerseys.  Both teams were comprised of Special Olympics athletes, children, players from the women’s national team, community actors, mayor’s representatives, members of the various associations of Pikine, and our very own Abdoulaye Diop, who is Speak Up Africa’s Malaria Program Manager. The crowd cheered drummers of the neighborhood’s local soccer team as they put on a vibrant performance. During half time the crowd was entertained by a performance from the neighborhood’s rugby school, which performed a Haka dance, a traditional dance from New Zealand.

In attendance of this exciting event were officials from the local health authorities, youth associations including the Young Entrepreneurs of Senegal, the“Going on Our Own” Movement, the Association for Well-being and Solidarity, women’s groups, Special Olympic athletes, coaches and partners, including, Afrivac, PATH, and Soeur de Coeur.  Special Olympics Country Director Rajah Sy and board member Moustapha Tamba, were all in attendance. Additionally, Senegalese artist, Mansour Mbaye Madiaga who is well known for his role as "Père Zora" in a series called “Wiri, wiri”, attended the event, which excited the crowd.  

Special Olympics Senegal, LCIF and Speak Up Africa were excited to host this inspiring event, commemorating the end of African Vaccination Week, which so very clearly fit within our collective mission to transform lives through sports.  

Accelerating The Control And Elimination Of Neglected Tropical Diseases In Africa

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are preventable infectious diseases that put approximately 1.5 billion people in 149 countries at risk, including 500 million children.Africa accounts for 40 percent of the global burden of NTDs, with all 47 African countries being endemic for at least one of them. These dangerous and destructive diseases result in chronic and debilitating physical and mental symptoms; cause severe disfigurement and disabilities; and have a detrimental impact on life expectancy, education and economic opportunity. They disproportionally affect the most vulnerable, marginalized people in the poorest, most remote communities in Africa and around the world, those with very little means to pay for their treatment and limited access to health care services.

Why is it so important to tackle NTDs with everything we’ve got right now? Because these diseases have been neglected for too long and have ravaged too many of our communities. The impact of NTDs reaches far beyond people’s health. NTDs threaten the economic well-being and livelihoods of the people who contract them, sinking victims ever deeper into poverty and making it impossible for them to reverse the cycle. Most importantly, due to unprecedented global collaboration and philanthropy, in the last five years, the number of people at risk for NTDs fell by 20 percent. The world is coming together to achievea common set of targets, mobilizing critical financial resources, donatingessential drugs, and stepping up with coordinated technical and financial leadership. It all started five years ago, when government leaders, donors, pharmaceutical companies, and representatives from prominent global health and development organizations pledged to unite in their efforts to combat these diseases. These partners signed on to the London Declaration, committing their supportfor the WHO Roadmap targets to eliminate or control 10 NTDs by 2020.

Now is the time to defeat NTDs. The window of opportunity to achieve our 2020 targets is right in front of us, and we can’t let it close.

Pharmaceutical companies have donated the medicines needed to control and eliminate 10 NTDs, which account for more than US $17.8 billion in drug donations. Since 2012, more than 7 billion treatments have been donated. African public health leaders have stepped up commensurately. In an unprecedented organizational move, WHO/AFRO has created the Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN) to support African countries in their efforts to meet their 2020 targets. ESPEN is designed to bring African nations and the entire international NTD community together to conquer these NTDs through the coordinated delivery of technical support for preventive chemotherapy in endemic African countries. It’s raising awareness about NTDs, advocating for increased funding and stronger political commitment, and pushing forward the policies and interventions that help advance NTD control and elimination. Most crucially, through ESPEN, WHO/AFRO puts the power in the hands of African countries and their national programs, by providing the technical advice and capacity building support they need. Progress would not be possible without the commitment of these endemic countriesand their frontline health workers that ensure donated treatments reach the people who need them.

In Geneva this week, global leaders are convening to celebrate progress made toward global targetsand define a clear path towards the 2020 goals and beyond.It is our belief that with increased awareness, greater funding from current and new donors, and the cooperation and political will of dedicated and engaged international and national partners, our goal to eliminate and control these NTDswill be met. With billions of lives at risk and with communities and entire nations struggling under the burden of these diseases, it’s time to take focused and unwavering action. We are confident that by 2020, the term Neglected Tropical Diseases will be a misnomer, and we will have achieved the kind of progress that the most impacted populations need and deserve.

Dr. Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti is the Director of the WHO Regional Office for Africa.

 The Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN) provides African countries with technical assistance and fundraising tools to accelerate the control and elimination of the five Neglected Tropical Diseases amenable to Preventive Chemotherapy (PC-NTDs): Onchocerciasis, Lymphatic Filariasis, Schistosomiasis, Soil Transmitted Helminthiasis and Trachoma. ESPEN is a five-year project nested within the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) and is inspired by the World Health Organization’s 2020 Roadmap on NTDs.

Happy World Malaria Day 2017!

Happy World Malaria Day 2017!

Football Superstar Leo Messi Joins the Fight Against Malaria in Senegal

World Malaria Day provides a perfect opportunity to reflect on the achievements of the past year and look towards future efforts in malaria control. Despite the great strides made throughout the African continent, every two minutes, a child dies from malaria. This preventable and treatable disease still takes the lives of close to half a million people each year worldwide and 90 percent of those deaths occur in Africa. This is unacceptable.

I’ve joined the global fight against malaria about 10 years ago and I’m thrilled to see the international community coming together with a single objective in mind: “End Malaria for Good”. This year’s theme provides a great testament of the current state of mind highlighting the crucial importance of collective action to achieve our malaria control and elimination goal.

One of the best ways to stop these unnecessary deaths is to use insecticide-treated mosquito nets, which have been proven to reduce the incidence of malaria by up to 95 percent in certain regions. But first, we need to ensure that people at-risk know about the importance of mosquito nets and are able to access them.

With help from Aspire Academy and the Leo Messi Foundation, Speak Up Africa and Senegal’s National Malaria Control Program designed and implemented the Football Combating Malaria (FCM) campaign. The campaign was created to provide lifesaving mosquito nets to hundreds of thousands of children in Senegal and raise awareness about how to prevent and treat the disease. It also works to place supervisors and volunteers in targeted villages to spread anti-malaria messages and ensure the proper use of the mosquito nets.

We capitalized on the popularity and influence of Lionel Messi, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner and a beloved sports figure throughout the world. In addition to serving as an ambassador for the importance of malaria awareness and prevention, Messi agreed to have more than 70,000 insecticide-treated mosquito nets bearing his image produced and distributed to elementary school children throughout the country.

FCM illustrates our profound belief that having effective supervisors in communities who actively engage with community members is essential to success. The campaign therefore developed a profile to aid in the process of recruiting qualified individuals who can make a real difference for people at risk. All supervisors were chosen based on a defined set of criteria. They must have recognition within their community, solid social work experience in these communities, and a commitment to volunteerism. The supervisors received intensive training, and then passed that knowledge on to four change agents within their community.

Also built into the program are monitoring and evaluation plans, census information about the number of nets being used in each household, technical assistance provided by district health teams, and an electronic reporting system.

In 2015, there were at total of 1,850 community supervisors and change agents pledged and fully prepared to bring awareness and information about how to fight malaria in Senegal. Together, they organized more than 340,000 house visits and more than 4,000 social mobilization activities across 14 regions of Senegal. In all, 2 million people were reached through these visits and activities.

The FCM campaign comes at a time when Senegal has already made tremendous gains in its efforts to combat malaria. Incidence of the disease has decreased by over 60 percent from 2009 to 2016, thanks to the implementation of proven strategies such as the use of mosquito nets. But with so many children and adults still dying of the disease, and so many communities still grappling with the economic insecurity it has wrought, we must keep up the fight.

We believe that with increased awareness in communities across the nation and sustained focus and commitment on the part of government officials, organizations, donors and champions such as Leo Messi, malaria elimination will be achieved in our lifetime.

Yacine Djibo

Accélérer le contrôle et l’élimination des maladies tropicales négligées en Afrique

Accélérer le contrôle et l’élimination des maladies tropicales négligées en Afrique

Les maladies tropicales négligées sont des maladies infectieuses évitables qui tuent 534 000 personnes chaque année. Dans le monde entier, plus d’un milliard de personnes, dont 500 millions d’enfants, restent exposés à ce risque. L’Afrique porte à elle seule 40 % de la charge de morbidité due aux maladies tropicales négligées dans le monde, les 47 pays africains étant endémiques d’au moins une d’entre elles. Ces maladies dangereuses et destructrices, qui se traduisent par des symptômes physiques et mentaux chroniques et débilitants, sont à l’origine d’altérations physionomiques et d’incapacités, et ont un impact préjudiciable sur l’espérance de vie, l’éducation et les opportunités économiques. Elles affectent aussi de manière disproportionnée les personnes les plus vulnérables et marginalisées dans les communautés les plus démunies et les plus éloignées en Afrique et dans le monde. Celles qui disposent de moindres moyens pour payer leur traitement et celles qui ont un accès limité aux services de soins de santé.

Pourquoi est-il si important de s’attaquer aux maladies tropicales négligées avec tous les moyens dont nous disposons en ce moment ? Parce que ces maladies ont été négligées pendant trop longtemps et ont ravagées trop de communautés en Afrique et dans le monde entier. L’impact des maladies tropicales négligées se manifeste bien au-delà du domaine de la santé. Les maladies tropicales négligées compromettent le bien-être économique et les moyens de subsistance des personnes qui les contractent. Les maladies tropicales négligées sombrent davantage les victimes dans la pauvreté, les empêchant d’enrayer le cycle de la pauvreté.

Plus important encore, grâce à une collaboration et une philanthropie mondiales sans précédent, le nombre de personnes vulnérables a diminué de 20%. Dans une effervescence parfaite, la communauté internationale s’est réunie autour d’un ensemble d’objectifs communs, à travers la mobilisation de ressources financières et de dons en médicaments essentiels et, le renforcement des mécanismes de coordination techniques et financiers. Il y a cinq ans, des gouvernements, partenaires financiers, chefs de file de l’industrie pharmaceutique et autres représentants d’organisations internationales spécialisées dans le développement et la santé se sont engagés à unir leurs efforts pour éliminer et éradiquer ces maladies 10 maladies tropicales négligées d’ici 2020. Ensemble, ils ont signé Déclaration de Londres inspirée par la Feuille de route de l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) sur les maladies tropicales négligées.

Une fenêtre d’opportunités pour vaincre les maladies tropicales négligées s’ouvre à nous et nous ne devons pas la laisser se refermer. Nous avons une occasion inédite d’atteindre nos objectifs de 2020 et de mettre un terme aux maladies tropicales négligées.

Faisant suite à l’engagement pris lors de la Déclaration de Londres, les principales compagnies pharmaceutiques ont gracieusement fait le don des médicaments essentiels au contrôle et à l’élimination des maladies tropicales négligées pour une somme supérieure à 17,8 milliards de dollars. Depuis 2012, plus de 7 milliards de traitements ont ainsi été offerts. Ce soutien sans précédent a permis au Bureau régional de l’OMS pour l’Afrique de mettre en place le Projet spécial élargi pour l’élimination des maladies tropicales négligées (ESPEN) qui a pour ambition de soutenir les pays africains dans leurs efforts de contrôle, d’élimination et d’éradication des maladies tropicales négligées d’ici 2020. ESPEN constitue un partenariat entre les pays endémiques de la région africaine, l’OMS et l’ensemble de la communauté internationale qui s’activent dans la lutte contre les maladies tropicales négligées. Le Projet sensibilise sur les maladies tropicales négligées, promeut le renforcement des financements et un engagement politique accru, et enfin, souligne les politiques et les initiatives qui contribuent au contrôle et à l’élimination des maladies tropicales négligées. Plus important encore, ESPEN soutient les pays endémiques africains en fournissant à leurs programmes nationaux l’assistance technique et l’appui opérationnel dont ils ont besoin en matière de chimioprévention. Aucun progrès contre les maladies tropicales négligées ne serait possible sans l’engagement sans faille des pays endémiques et de leurs agents de santé communautaires qui font en sorte que les médicaments atteignent les populations vulnérables.

À Genève cette semaine, les dirigeants mondiaux se réunissent pour saluer les progrès considérables réalisés ces cinq dernières années pour lutter contre les maladies tropicales négligées et déterminer une feuille de route claire pour l’atteinte des objectifs que nous nous sommes fixés pour 2020. Nous sommes convaincus qu’avec une prise de conscience renforcée, un financement accru provenant des partenaires financiers actuels et futurs, et enfin la coopération et la volonté politique des partenaires nationaux et internationaux, nous atteindrons nos objectifs. Au regard des milliards de vies en péril ainsi que des communautés et des nations entières qui ploient sous le fardeau de ces maladies, le moment est venu de prendre des mesures concrètes et fortes. Nous sommes convaincus que d’ici 2020, le terme « maladies tropicales négligées » sera un mauvais souvenir et que nous serons parvenus au niveau de progrès dont les populations les plus touchées ont besoin et qu’elles méritent.

Le Dr Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti est la Directrice du Bureau régional de l’OMS pour l’Afrique.

Le projet spécial élargi pour l’élimination des maladies tropicales négligées (ESPEN) fournit aux pays africains une assistance technique et des outils de mobilisation de ressources pour accélérer le contrôle et l’élimination des cinq maladies tropicales négligées qui se prêtent à la chimioprévention : l’onchocercose, la filariose lymphatique, la schistosomiase, les géo-helminthiases et le trachome.  ESPEN est un projet de cinq ans mis en œuvre par le Bureau régional de l’OMS pour l’Afrique qui s’inspire de la feuille de route 2020 de l’OMS sur les maladies tropicales négligées.

High Level Calls for Vaccinations for All

High Level Calls for Vaccinations for All

Immunization partners and countries celebrate African Vaccination Week

Brazzaville /N’Djamena, 22 April 2017 – UN agencies, high level government officials, immunization partners and community leaders, with the support of the Organization of African First Ladies against AIDS (OAFLA) are launching today the African Vaccination Week (AVW), urging all people to protect their health by getting vaccinated.

AVW aims to strengthen immunization programmes in the African Region by keeping immunization high on national agendas, and increasing awareness of the importance of every person’s need and right to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. All 47 countries of the WHO’s African Region will commemorate AVW 2017 with the theme “Vaccines protect everyone, get vaccinated!” to promote the critical importance of full immunization for everyone regardless of their background.  This year’s celebration kicks-off as countries begin to implement the Addis Declaration on Immunization (ADI), a landmark commitment supporting and prioritising immunisation in Africa.

Her Excellency, Madam Hinda Déby Itno, the First Lady of Republic of Chad, is hosting this year’s event as part of OAFLA members’ commitment as First Ladies and Leaders, to include immunization among their priority actions in 2017. The First Ladies will actively promote access and investments to life-saving vaccines, and remind governments, communities, families and individuals that everyone should get vaccinated. 

H.E. Madam Déby underscored the importance of implementing the ten (10) ADI commitments agreed on in 2016 at the first-ever Ministerial Conference on Immunization in Africa in Addis Ababa. She said: ““It is part of our role as leaders to ensure that we reach every child with live saving vaccines”.

Immunization is recognized as one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions in the world, estimated to prevent between two and three million deaths each year. “It is one of the best investments that countries can make in the health of their people and their future,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Regional Director for Africa. “Vaccines provide benefits beyond health outcomes, such as preventing medical costs and reduced time caring for sick children. These savings can lead to improvements in education, economic growth and poverty reduction,” she added.

The WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, Dr Mahmoud Fikri in his message on the occasion of the Immunization Week in the Eastern Mediterranean Region 2017, urged Member States to invest in immunization programmes, as one dollar spent on immunization brings more than 16 times the return in economic benefit. “Thanks to the efforts of governments, partners and the international community, vaccines are being made available to more people at affordable prices. However, we need to move rapidly to bridge the gaps in immunization coverage and use the available vaccines for the benefit of all,” he stressed.

The GAVI Alliance has played a critical role in bringing together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in Africa.

“So far we have helped protect 240 million children in Africa with life-saving vaccines,” said Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Board Chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “Gavi stands ready to help African countries maintain strong immunisation coverage and respond to outbreaks such as Ebola or Yellow Fever; diseases that can destabilize entire economies if not tackled from the onset. Together we stand stronger to make vaccines work for our communities and create a more prosperous future for all children across our continent.”

The campaign places emphasis on the fact that immunized communities are free of most communicable diseases, and thus a step closer to creating healthy and productive nations.

“Governments, civil society, media and communities all need to continue to work together to make sure that every child is reached with the full complement of this life-saving intervention," said UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Leila Pakkala. “The African Vaccination Week is an important opportunity to advocate for concrete actions to support vaccination, so that no child is left behind.”

Referring to the Agenda 2063 goals, H. E. Amira Elfadil, African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs said: “We cannot achieve the bold and ambitious aspirations that we have set in Agenda 2063 if we do not immunize our children. The African Union is committed to support ongoing efforts by countries and partners to provide affordable and accessible lifesaving vaccines for all children in our determination to implement the Addis Declaration on Immunization.”

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For more information about AVW, please visit http://www.afro.who.int/en/african-vaccination-week/

For more information, please contact:
Dr Richard Mihigo, Programme Area Coordinator, WHO AFRO mihigor@who.int Tel +47 241 39926
C. Boakye-Agyemang, Regional Communications Adviser a,i, WHO AFRO Boakyeagyemangc@who.int Tel +47 241 39420
James Elder, Regional Chief of Communication, UNICEF ESARO jelder@unicef.org  Tel: +254 71558 12
Thierry Delvigne-Jean, Regional Chief of Communication, UNICEF WCARO tdelvignejean@unicef.org Tel: +221 33 831 0200

Drastic reduction in Neglected Tropical Diseases during the past 5 years

Drastic reduction in Neglected Tropical Diseases during the past 5 years

Stakeholders to Take Stock of Progress in the African Region

Geneva, April 20, 2017 – With a drastic reduction in neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) during the past five years, the World Health Organization (WHO), donors, non-governmental organizations and government representatives of endemic countries are meeting in Geneva, Switzerland to build on the gains that have been made and reaffirm their commitment to the fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

Since the London Declaration five years ago, which crystallized the international commitment to fight against 10 NTDs, tremendous progress has been made in reducing the burden of these diseases. Globally, nearly a billion people received treatment for at least one NTD in 2015, 36% more than just four years before. The number of people in need of NTD treatments decreased from 2 billion in 2010 to 1.6 billion in 2015. Two highly effective approaches, mass drug administration (MDA) and intensified disease management (IDM), have made this possible.

In the African Region which alone bears 40% of the population suffering from NTDs, great strides have been made in the past years. Togo has just eliminated Lymphatic Filariasis as a public health problem. Ethiopia has made significant strides in the fight against Trachoma by setting targets in its national health plan and increasing domestic funding to 3 million US dollars as at 2016. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is now funding 25% of NTD programs, up from 0% in 2011.

In collaboration with partners, WHO launched the Expanded Special Project for Elimination of NTDs (ESPEN) less than a year ago, to significantly cut the burden of the five PC-NTDs in Africa by sharing best practices, coordinating activities and offering technical guidance.

Conscious that with 47 African countries endemic to at least one of the ten London Declaration NTDs, it is critical to have a complete map of the disease burden in order to accelerate the control and elimination of NTDs in the African Region. Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, announced this week the launch of the AFRO NTD Portal. Through this portal, Health Ministries and stakeholders can share data to support public health action. “As scaling up mass drug administration for the over 600 million people who need preventive chemotherapy remains one of the biggest challenges in the region, this NTD portal illustrates WHO AFRO’s bold ambitious to take focused and unwavering action” said Dr. Moeti.

An intensive and large scale mapping exercise to accurately record the prevalence of NTDs has been carried out as 37 African countries are co-endemic for at least five of these diseases. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the project aimed to complete the mapping of four diseases – Lymphatic Filariasis, Onchocerciasis, Soil-Transmitted Helminths and Schistosomiasis. This project known as Shrinking the Map, involved (i) field surveys, (ii) developing high-quality maps and relevant profiles on disease and programme performance, and (iii) making the maps available to the public to support programmatic decision making.

Furthermore, in an effort to accurately map the prevalence of trachoma, the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness, the Global Trachoma Mapping Project (GTMP), supported by DFID and USAID has carried out the largest trachoma disease mapping in history. The mapping of Onchocerciasis, however, remains an urgent need for the African region.

“Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) programmes harness diverse partnerships to drive impact – including across sectors, and countries. With communities and entire nations struggling under the burden of these diseases, increased financial support, stronger political commitment and better tools to prevent, diagnose and treat the diseases are vital to defeat NTDs. The window of opportunity to achieve the 2020 targets is right in front of us, and we cannot let it close. The success so far shows what can be done if we work together,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti.

Neglected Tropical Diseases are preventable infectious diseases that kill 534,000 people annually. Worldwide, over 1 billion people, including 500 million children, remain at risk. Impoverished communities are disproportionally targeted; perpetuating a cycle of marginalization and stunted economic growth. Some of the most rampant NTDs include Lymphatic Filariasis, Onchocerciasis, Schistosomiasis, Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis and Trachoma. However, these five diseases can all be treated with Preventative Chemotherapy (PC). The treatment costs less than $1 per person, and the implementation of mass drug administration has cured millions thus far.

The Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN) provides African countries with technical assistance to accelerate the control and elimination of the five Neglected Tropical Diseases amenable to Preventive Chemotherapy (PC-NTDs): Onchocerciasis, Lymphatic Filariasis, Schistosomiasis, Soil Transmitted Helminthiasis and Trachoma. ESPEN is a five-year project nested within the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) and is inspired by the World Health Organization’s 2020 Roadmap on NTDs.

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For more information, please contact:
Maria Rebollo Polo, ESPEN Team Leader, rebollopolom@who.int Tel: +47-241-39905
C. Boakye-Agyemang, Acting Regional Communications Adviser:  Boakyeagyemangc@who.int
Tel +47-241-39420

ESPEN’s Luncheon: For an Africa Free of Neglected Tropical Diseases

ESPEN’s Luncheon: For an Africa Free of Neglected Tropical Diseases

The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, through the Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN) is organizing a luncheon for an update on the collective progress towards NTD control and elimination in the African Region.

This luncheon specifically aims to:

  • Introduce ESPEN, its mandate and mission to key stakeholders;
  • Mark ESPEN’s one year anniversary and the collective achievements of the partnership;
  • Encourage partners and countries to close financial gaps to reach targets;
  • Highlight country progress, ownership and leadership.

This luncheon will take place Thursday, April 20th, 2017 from 12:45pm to 13:45pm at the InterContinental Hotel in Geneva.

The 2017 NTD Summit

2017 marks the 5th anniversary of the World Health Organization's roadmap on NTDs, the World Health Assembly resolution on NTDs (WHA66.12) and the London Declaration. To celebrate this milestone, Uniting to Combat NTDs, the World Health Organization and the NTD community will host an NTD Summit in Geneva, Switzerland, April 18-19, 2017. This high-profile event will celebrate the community's achievements over the past 5 years and will plan for the future in which the NTD community will control, eliminate and eradicate 10 neglected tropical diseases. The Summit will also include technical discussions with partners to define a clear path towards the 2020 goals and beyond.

For more information about the NTD Summit: http://unitingtocombatntds.org/ntd-summit-2017

About ESPEN

The Expanded Special Project for the Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN) is a platform, hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa (AFRO), dedicated to reducing the burden of five preventable neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Africa.

ESPEN provides African countries with technical assistance and fundraising tools to accelerate the control and elimination of the five Neglected Tropical Diseases amenable to Preventive Chemotherapy (PC-NTDs): Onchocerciasis, Lymphatic Filariasis, Schistosomiasis, Soil Transmitted Helminths and Trachoma. ESPEN is a five-year project nested within the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) and is inspired by the World Health Organization’s 2020 Roadmap on NTDs.

For more information about ESPEN: http://www.afro.who.int/en/espen.html

« Journée Internationale des droits de la Femme » Speak Up Africa s’engage pour elles et avec elles !

« Journée Internationale des droits de la Femme » Speak Up Africa s’engage pour elles et avec elles !

Mercredi 8 mars 2017 se tiendra « La journée Internationale des droits de la Femme » journée de manifestations à travers le monde et occasion de faire le bilan sur la situation de la femme. L’origine de cette célébration découlerait de différentes légendes et faits réels, mais ce n’est qu’en 1977 que cette journée est officialisée par les Nations Unies.  

Aujourd’hui cet évènement se traduit par diverses initiatives où les femmes prennent la parole et s’expriment sur leur volonté d’améliorer leur statut dans les domaines de la vie sociale, professionnelle et familiale. Malgré cette émancipation grandissante, des inégalités subsistent encore au XXIe siècle.

A cette occasion Speak Up Africa (SUA), ONG créée et dirigée par des femmes, rend hommage à toutes ses semblables et se mobilise ! De ce fait, Speak Up Africa soutiendra durant cette journée l’association Sœur de Cœur dans ses activités de sensibilisation. Cette association de la banlieue de Pikine a pour objectifs de développer le leadership des jeunes filles et de promouvoir les valeurs de la femme par le biais d’ateliers de partage.

A travers ces activités, Speak Up Africa entend ainsi contribuer aux Objectifs de Développement Durable (ODD) du continent, en donnant une voix aux femmes et aux jeunes filles et en mettant en avant celles qui se manifestent tous les jours par leur courage, leurs actions et qui font une différence dans la vie de leur communauté. Cette mobilisation rejoint l’ODD 5 mis au cœur de l'Agenda 2030, celui de placer l'égalité des sexes et l'autonomisation des femmes et des filles. Il va sans dire que pour renforcer le statut de la femme et tendre vers une égalité, il est nécessaire d’améliorer le système éducatif et social pour que les femmes africaines puissent prendre part au développement de leur pays.

Dans cette optique, Speak Up Africa accueille à Pikine, au sein de son espace de sensibilisation et d’échange (Speak Up Africa Lab), des ateliers sur le thème de « l’importance de la participation de la femme dans le développement communautaire » ainsi qu’une session de sensibilisation avec des femmes leaders d’associations féminines qui portera sur la gestion de l’hygiène menstruelle (GHM) ; sujet qui demeure encore tabou dans plusieurs pays d’Afrique notamment au Sénégal. Certaines croyances et mythes influencent la vie quotidienne des femmes et des filles, renforçant les inégalités de genre et leur impact négatif sur la dignité, la santé et l’éducation de ces dernières. Face à ces défis, Speak Up Africa s’attèle à faciliter une meilleure compréhension et une amélioration des pratiques en matière d’hygiène menstruelle au sein des communautés périurbaines de Pikine et Guédiawaye.

Pour clôturer ce programme de manière ludique, un match de football exceptionnel « Santé Foot » se jouera entre les Amazones de Pikine et les Amazones de Yeumbeul au stade Alassane Djigo de Pikine et dont la mi-temps sera animée par le groupe SAFARI, les Pop-queens de la musique sénégalaise.

“Eduquer une fille, c’est éduquer toute une nation” – Proverbe africain

Par Déborah Demont

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