CBM hosted the 6th Session of the NTD NGDO Network (NNN) in Abu Dhabi from 13-16 September 2015, with over 150 organisations and 240 participants in attendance.
The meetings went on for four days from 13 to 16 September with the active participation and presentations by various organisations such as the International Coalition for Trachoma Control (ICTC), WHO, Water Aid as well as CBM. Cross cutting issues such as morbidity management and disability prevention, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the importance of water, sanitation and hygiene in preventing NTDs was a focus of this year’s meeting.
Presentation by CBM on SDG indicators for NTDs
Dr. Martin Kollmann, Senior Advisor for NTDs at CBM presented on the SDGs for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). Currently NTDs (along with AIDS, Malaria and others) are concretely mentioned in the health indicator (SDG goal 3) under Target 3.3, which aims at ‘ending the epidemic of Neglected Tropical Diseases by 2030.’ The NNN called for the inclusion of an SDG global indicator for NTDs in the post-2015 agenda.
Inauguration by CBM
The official NNN plenary sessions were inaugurated by opening remarks from CBM. Dr. Muhammad Babar Qureshi, CBM Director for NTDs, welcomed everyone to the 1st NNN meeting in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) and spoke about the importance of holding this conference in the EMR. He emphasised that all NTDs that the NNN focuses on are found in EMR and the region is making significant contributions towards their elimination. Landmark achievements (elimination of blinding Trachoma from Oman, Saudi Arabia and Morocco) were stressed. The region has also been at the forefront of advocacy for sustainable development for universal eye health, including Trachoma. Other initiatives in leprosy, schistosomiasis, STH have proved to be successful in various parts of the region.
Dr. Qureshi encouraged all present to work together in order to weave an intensive, coordinated and tactical response to end NTDs by 2030 with the fibres of universal health coverage, health systems strengthening, integrated delivery of health services, equity, sustainable water and sanitation, climate change and the social determinants of health.
Speech by Dave MCComiskey
CBM President and CEO Dave McComiskey welcomed the attendees and emphasised CBM's desire for partnership
solutions and our support for the global NTD community. He also highlighted partnerships as the key to ensure success in eliminating NTDs and that partnerships and collaboration developed in the NTD community
have enhanced both the quality and efficiency of CBM programmes. He stressed that it is important to build national and partner capacities, in order to develop efficient and sustainable programmes, and spoke about local capacity and ownership which can often sustain programmes through difficult times and is an important factor in the sustainability of our work.
NTDs in the Eastern Mediterranean Region
Dr. Qureshi made a presentation on the achievements, needs and challenges of NTDs in the EMR. He reiterated that the burden of NTDs in the EMR is significant, differing from disease to disease and from country to country. Priority countries listed were Afghanistan, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Sudan amongst many others.
After Dr. Qureshi’s intervention, a panel discussion with medical experts from Pakistan, Sudan and Yemen spoke about the situation of NTDs (specifically trachoma and leprosy) in their respective countries.