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CBM co-hosts NTD NGDO Network meeting

Group photo with around 100 people
Participants at the CBM-hosted NTD-NDGO Network meeting, Nairobi, September 2011

From 20th to 22nd September 2011 CBM co-hosted the 2nd 'NTD (Neglected Tropical Diseases) Non-Governmental Development Organizations Network' meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. This gathering was preceded by a meeting of the CBM Advisory Working Group for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD-AWG) on 18th-19th September.

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) affect around 1.4 billion people and another 2 billion are at risk - most of whom live in the world's poorest countries.

These diseases cause poor performance at school and at work and create severe disabilities, such as blindness (river blindness, trachoma), physical disabilities (elephantiasis), chronic disease and susceptibility to HIV/AIDS (snail fever). Most importantly for future generations, they delay physical and mental development in children (intestinal worms, schistosomiasis). All this is worsening the downward spiral of poverty and lack of development.

The numbers of treatments facilitated by NGDOs in 2010 runs into the 10s of millions. Being endemic in countries with limited resources and competing with high-visibility and high-mortality diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Malaria and TB, they are often considered low priority in national health programs and are neglected in health agendas and budgets. Read more about NTDs here.

NTD NGDOs Network meeting

Representatives from various NGDOs (Non-Governmental Development Organisations), corporate donors, governments (Ministries of Health and Education), WHO and research institutions involved in NTD work were invited to this meeting. This enabled nearly 100 participants to look at NTD work from different angles and to identify opportunities and challenges for interaction and collaboration.
  • A wide range of issues covering medical aspects, development issues, political and financial sustainability and the inclusion of persons with disability were addressed, both in the context of disease specific programs and co-implementation/integration.
  • A panel discussion on experience from school – health programmes in Kenya and Uganda was held with staff from governments, research institutions and NGDOs.

Thoughts from participants

“Attending the meetings was helpful because it showed me that disability was not on the table for many of the NDGO partners. Many people suffer disabling effects such as blindness and decreased mobility resulting from having an NTD. I believe that CBM can fill this void in current NTD work.”
Ijeoma Obidegwu - Public Health Expert, M&E Officer CBM-USA; NTD-AWG member

“NTDs have been taking their toll on these vulnerable populations, causing pain, depression, hopelessness, disability and poverty. My project with the tremendous support that is received from CBM has and will continue to make a real difference to the quality of life of these people - 'Together we can do more'.”
Chris Ogoshi - Programme Manager Vision 2020 Support Programme, Nigeria

“I was able to share the frustrations, satisfactions and expectations of several partners and to bring some clarifications. We also discussed ways forward and often reached a consensus”
Prof. Innocent Takougang - Programme Officer for Onchocerciasis and NTDs, DRC 

“I am staggered by the numbers of people at risk of NTDs, the terrible impact of these diseases on the individual.... how easy they are to prevent, and the possibility of elimination…”
David McAllister - Director, CBM-Ireland

“CBM, with its vast experience in community disease intervention acts as the catalyst to bring together organisations, affected communities and individuals that have the resources to help the most vulnerable groups to NTD exposure. Attending the NNN meeting was helpful due to the fact that it created a rich environment of interaction with key global players and donors in the NTD field. It also allowed me to informally discuss our efforts in combating NTDs with our donor community partners.”
Fasil Chane - NGDO Coordinator - CBM Onchocerciasis project, Republic of South Sudan (RoSS)

“The NTDs affect the poorest, under-served communities worldwide, causing visual impairments, blindness and other disabilities. CBM makes a difference by working in collaboration and coordination with other like-minded organisations, governments and partners. Attending (and CBM hosting) these meetings allows us to be part of the discussion and experience sharing within the CBM family and understand what other regions are doing in the NTD work. It also creates a better understand what is happening in the NTD implementation in Africa and beyond.”
Dr. Demissie Tadesse - Regional Eye Care Adviser, Ethiopia

CBM AWG for NTDs meeting

The main objective of this meeting was to review CBM’s NTD strategy roll-out and map the way forward.

The meeting brought together a wide range of stakeholders from key players in CBM’s NTD work, such as medical advisers, development experts, programme implementers and Member Associations, as well as advocacy and designated funding staff.

Their insights, plus input from different regions and fields of work, provided a much-needed platform for interregional learning and developing best practices. Case studies from Haiti, CAR, Burundi, Nigeria, and Angola provided food for thought.

Related information

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

CBM supporting Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) programmes in areas where they are identified as a public health problem


Treatable diseases

Adrian Hopkins


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