NTDs are a group of communicable diseases that affect more than 1.5 billion people globally, 39% of whom live in Africa. Even though these diseases can be prevented and treated, they continue to cause severe disfigurement and other long-term disabilities that create obstacles to education, employment, economic growth and overall development.
Combating NTDs and reaching all communities in need can put countries on the pathway to achieving universal health coverage. Where there is poverty, NTDs are commonly an accepted part of life. But this is not inevitable, nor should we accept it. In this sense, the campaign aims to:
1. Increase overall political engagement to NTDs to increase domestic resources for NTDs;
2. Build the capacity of civil society organizations to make NTD decision-making spaces more inclusive;
3. Create an enabling environment at the national level for increased prioritization of NTD elimination.
Since 2016, Speak Up Africa has been working closely with the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa’s Expanded Special Project for elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN), using its expertise in partnership-building and strategic communication to help gain an understanding of the progress achieved in terms of controlling and eliminating NTDs on the African continent.