Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and malaria disproportionately affect the poorest members of society and are a major obstacle to Africa’s economic and social development.
These diseases have begun to receive increased attention from the international community, with a number of international declarations and commitments being signed around the world, with leaders pledging to prioritize the control and elimination of these diseases. Thanks to the commitments made by President Paul Kagame and the heads of government of many countries, the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, in June 2021 provides an opportunity to garner global attention and accelerate action to end these preventable and treatable diseases. It is also important community engagement from the onset ensures acceptance of communication messages and implementation of local NTD and malaria initiatives.
Call to action
By signing this call to action, I am committing to prioritizing the fight to slow and prevent the spread of NTDs and malaria in Africa. I call on governments, civil society organizations and the private sector to work to implement all necessary actions to protect Africans from NTDs and malaria. Specifically, I call for:
- Domestic resource mobilization for increased and sustained resources aligned with the co-financing requirements of The Global Fund
- National governments to strengthen the financial sustainability of malaria and NTD programmes to improve the long-term management and the elimination of these diseases.
- Increased private sector contribution
- Private sector companies to play an active role in supporting and collaborating on the government’s agenda, providing financial support and advocating for the control and elimination of these diseases.
- Better integration of gender policies
- Campaigns towards the elimination of NTDs and malaria to adopt an inclusive approach to identifying, implementing and monitoring and evaluating NTD and malaria projects and programmes, considering gender aspects and the specific needs of the population (people with reduced mobility, women, men, young people, senior citizens).
- A community approach
- Governments, civil society organizations and partners to involve all sections of the population in the fight against NTDs and malaria.