CBM Attends Annual Global Neglected Tropical Diseases Conference

Dr Levi, a CBM supported ophthalmologist attends an NTD National Planning Workshop in Burundi.
© CBM/Farmer

The 12th Annual 'Neglected Tropical Diseases NGO' (NNN) Conference is taking place virtually on 7 - 9 September 2021.

CBM is a platinum sponsor of the event, which this year has as its theme- ‘Enabling a paradigm shift to a country-led response to deliver the NTD Road Map.’

Important contributions to the conference

In addition to CBM’s financial support to the conference, staff from the organisation are also taking part.

CBM’s Head of Neglected Tropical Diseases, Girija Sankar, is facilitating a special session at the opening plenary called, Walking the talk on country ownership - towards a paradigm shift in global health operations’.

The 2021 conference will energize the NTD NGO community to redouble efforts to support countries in achieving the ambitious targets in the NTD road map. The workshops and plenaries are designed to invite critical reflection, and meaningful next steps in advancing the road map.
Girija Sankar, head of NTDs at CBM

The new NTD Road Map’s call for strategic shifts in operating models comes at a time when the global health and development community is having a moment of reckoning with the power dynamics and the inequities that appear to pervade through the various intersecting sectors, including foreign aid, academia, civil society and non-state actors. NGOs in the global north, including NNN members, must contend with these inequities and address them head-on if we are intentional about supporting the new road map. Through this special session, the NNN seeks to understand the role that NNN members have played thus far in advancing improved health outcomes and in appreciating the need for a transformational approach to improving the health and wellbeing of people living in resource-challenged contexts.

Additionally, CBM’s NTD Programme Manager Juliana Amanyi-Enegela is participating in a workshop titled, ‘Reaching the last mile for trachoma elimination’. This workshop seeks to discuss and exchange knowledge with the broader NTD community based on experiences from the trachoma community in reaching the last mile towards elimination. The workshop includes reflections from country programmes on efforts to transition from elimination programs to sustainable impacts.

What are Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)?

Women in Burudi taking part in the schistosomiasis survey, part of a neglected tropical diseases programme.

Women in Burudi taking part in the schistosomiasis survey, part of a neglected tropical diseases programme.


Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a group of 20 diseases that thrive in resource-challenged settings, especially in tropical and sub-tropical areas. They are spread by insects, contaminated water and soil infested with the eggs or larvae of worms.

NTDs affect the poorest populations in the developing world living in remote, rural areas, urban slums, or conflict zones where resources are scarce. One sixth of the world's population — more than one billion people — suffer from one or more NTD. Another 2 billion people are at risk, mainly in the tropics and sub-tropics. NTDs cause great human misery, often aggravated by social stigmatisation and discrimination, especially for women. They cause pain, disfigurement, and disability (mental and physical), and result in about half a million deaths each year.

CBM’s work with NTDs

CBM supports NTD control programmes in areas where these diseases are identified as a public health problem. It has been successfully involved in the prevention of blindness from onchocerciasis and trachoma for more than 25 years. Building on its experience and expertise, and on its long-standing relationship with partner organisations and their networks all over the world, CBM is fully committed to engaging in fighting the five major NTDs (trachoma, onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis [LF], schistosomiasis [SCH], and soil-transmitted helminths [STHs]). CBM is dedicated to working with partners at the global, regional and country levels to support national programmes and their efforts to control or eliminate NTDs in line with WHO and national programme guidelines.