CBM's Girija Sankar Begins Her Term as Chairperson of the Neglected Tropical Diseases NGO Network

Twelve men and women are standing in front of a banner that reads Neglected Tropical Diseases NGO Network

Girija Sankar (fourth from the left) is the new Chairperson of the NGO Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases

Eliminating Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) such as lymphatic filariasis, trachoma and onchocerciasis is critical because if left unchecked or untreated, they can cause lifelong disabilities.

Head of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) at CBM, Girija Sankar, has taken up her role as the new Chairperson of the NTD NGO Network. Girija will chair the network of over 90 member organisations for a year from September 2022 to September 2023.  

The appointment was confirmed by the members of the network at the 13th Annual NTDs NGO (NNN) held in Kathmandu, Nepal in South Asia last month. 

Girija's work at CBM and as Chair of the NNN Network is important in ensuring the end to NTDs. NTDs - a diverse group of communicable diseases found in tropical and subtropical conditions in 149 countries - affect more than one billion people worldwide.

Her responsibilities as chair of the NNN include convening the network and its technical working groups, chairing the annual conference of NTD practitioners from around the world, and representing the NTD NGO community at key global events and platforms.  

As chair, I aim to promote the engagement and participation of non-governmental organisations from NTD-endemic countries, foster dialogue and knowledge sharing within the network and expand the NNN platform for a diversity of voices. 

Why Eliminating NTDs is Critical

The September 2022 NNN conference, which CBM supported with a platinum-level sponsorship, was the first-ever hybrid conference with over 300 people attending in person and 200 virtual participants. Delegates participated in 16 workshops that revolved around the theme of NTDs in health systems - innovate, integrate, empower. 

Girija brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the network from her 15 years in global health. In her role at CBM, Girija and her team worked to ensure that 78.7 million mass drug treatments reached communities in Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan in 2021 alone.  

With Girija as Chair, the NNN is looking for a new Vice Chair and is accepting nominations for the role. For more information, please review the forms here and contact Girija via email at girija dot sankar at cbm dot org

CBM supported the administration of 269,434,477 NTD drug treatments between 2017 and 2021.

Read more about the report here 

CBM NTD Annual Report 2022