January 30, 2022, marks the third annual World NTD Day, a global movement to end Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
What is World NTD Day?
World NTD Day brings together civil society advocates, community leaders, global health experts and policymakers working across the diverse NTD landscape, unifying partners behind one common goal: to face NTDs and #EndTheNeglect. It serves as a catalyst to translate awareness into action, secure increased resources for NTDs, and facilitate political leadership and ownership of NTD programs from affected countries.
January 30 is the anniversary of the landmark 2012 London Declaration on NTDs, which unified partners across sectors, countries and disease communities to push for greater investment and action on NTDs.
In 2021, the World Health Organization launched the #NTDRoadmap2030, which outlines ambitious goals to lead partners fighting against NTDs into the next decade of collective action.
More than 1 in 5 people worldwide are threatened by NTDs – over 1.7 billion people. NTDs are a group of infectious diseases that blind, disable and disfigure people, affecting not only their health, but also their changes of staying in school, earning a living, or even being accepted by their family or community.
But safe, effective treatments exist to fight NTDs. With the right investments and actions, incredible progress is in reach. With continued support, the future looks bright for countries poised to reach the elimination threshold for at least one NTD.
Did you know? 50 cents can fund treatment for the 5 most common NTDs for a full year.
OPC Fights NTDs for All
OPC focuses on eliminating 5 NTDs in Sub-Saharan Africa: trachoma, onchocerciasis (river blindness), lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths.
These NTDs can be controlled by the large-scale distribution of safe, effective medicines. A key aspect of OPC’s work is to provide training and capacity building for community health workers, who deliver and distribute NTD treatments and medications to people living in endemic areas, often in rural and often hard-to-reach communities.
Only two of the NTDs OPC fights – trachoma and onchocerciasis – are blinding diseases, meaning that they cause vision loss or blindness. OPC decided to incorporate the three non-blinding diseases into its portfolio because OPC-trained community drug distributors are able to deliver medicines to prevent these diseases as well as the blinding NTDs, especially if the same drug treats both conditions.
Through its NTDs programs, OPC ensures equal access to treatment for all affected populations, especially those often overlooked for treatment, like women, children and people with disabilities. This is an important part of the organization’s overall mission to provide inclusive, comprehensive eye care for all.
#BeatNTDs with OPC this World NTD Day
This World NTD Day, join OPC as we Light Up the World to ensure a brighter future for all.
You can help by making a donation to support OPC’s work. Every gift makes a difference in our efforts to fight NTDs. Spread the word on social media and follow OPC on Facebook and LinkedIn. And you can learn more about OPC’s work and subscribe to our newsletter so you never miss an update from OPC.