On September 9th, 2013, a multi-stakeholder group of about 50 participants concerned about neglected tropical disease (NTDs) in India assembled in New Delhi for a day-long workshop. Their objectives were threefold:
- Examine the extent of NTDs in India
- Highlight examples of best practices in tackling NTDs in India and other countries, and
- Explore the best way forward for meaningful NTD interventions in India
No one will deny the monumental challenges inherent in seeking to reduce NTDs among the very poor and marginalized not only in India, but Africa, Asia and the Americas. Buoyed by the recent success of polio eradication in India, the group assembled clearly recognized the critical need for collaboration among all partners to work together to fully understand the burden of disease, increase R&D, integrate approaches, build political and economic will for vital NTD interventions.
The September 9th event builds on the London Declaration, a pledge made in January 2012 by a coalition of pharmaceutical companies, non-governmental organizations and governments to control or eliminate 10 NTDs by 2020 in line with targets set by the WHO.
According to Mr. Anshu Prakash, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India who provided the keynote address at the September 9th event, "The Indian Government is working with all stakeholders and the community towards meeting these objectives (of the London Declaration). Given the size and population of India, the action taken by us will certainly impact the global figures. We are committed for a sustained momentum in our efforts."
Finally, as stated in the event report, decisive and collective actions taken now and in the coming years, will affect the lives of millions of the poorest and most marginalized populations. "NTDs can be controlled and eliminated. The stakes are high, and the lives and futures of millions of people depend on the decisions and actions we take in the coming months and years." ---- so very true.
Read the report - Action on Neglected Tropical Diseases in India