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Published On: Tue, Jan 30th, 2024

MOH Participates In World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day

The Ministry of Health announces its participation in the global commemoration, of World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day (World NTD Day) on 30th January 2024 with the theme “Unite-Act- Eliminate” as they highlighted that this day serves as a rallying call to join forces, act, and eliminate the burden of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) worldwide.

According to the press release by the Ministry, they are in solidarity with the global community, in order to acknowledge the challenges posed by 15 identified NTDs within its borders, Key among these are Schistosomiasis, Lymphatic Filariasis, Soil Transmitted Helminthiasis, Leprosy, Scabies, Rabies, Snake Bite Envenoming, and Fungal Infection.

Adding that the NTD Program of The Gambia, in collaboration with international partners and dedicated communities, continues to work tirelessly towards the prevention, treatment, and elimination of these disease”.

The press statement further states that in 2021, The Gambia achieved a significant milestone with the World Health Organization (WHO) certifying the country for having Eliminated Trachoma as a public health problem, the second country in Sub-Saharan Africa after Ghana to achieve this great milestone. This accomplishment is a testament to the sustained efforts and commitment of The Gambia in the fight against NTDs.

The theme for this year’s commemoration “UNITE-ACT-ELIMINATE” resonates deeply with the commitment to fostering collaboration, taking decisive actions, and ultimately eliminating the burden of neglected tropical diseases in The Gambia.

The release further states that Investing in NTDs is a global health and development success story, So far 50 countries have eliminated an NTD which shows progress is possible, it adds that In 2020, 600 million fewer people required interventions against NTDs than in 2010. Yet, for some time, lack of resources has been seen as a significant barrier to the control, elimination, and eradication of NTDs. This challenge has only been intensified by COVID-19 which has caused severe delays and disruption to NTD programs, as well as a massive repurposing and diversion of resources.

“Everyone has a key role to play, By bringing renewed attention to NTDs, building political will mobilizing resources, putting individuals and communities at the center of the response, as this can only be achieved collectively to generate the attention and resources needed to deliver against the targets outlined in the WHO 2030 NTD road map and SDG3. This includes eradicating two diseases, eliminating one disease in 100 countries, and decreasing the number of people requiring interventions for NTDs by 90%” The press release states.

MOH marks this significant day as they extend their gratitude to the communities, healthcare workers, and partners notably the World Health Organization (WHO) and Sight savers International who have played a crucial role in the success of NTD elimination efforts. The Gambia remains resolute in its commitment to building a healthier and more resilient society, free from the burden of neglected tropical diseases.

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