DNTDs in cooperation with the German WASH network at the virtual conference Water for Development (WW4D)
Bonn / Berlin - August 27, 2020. Experts from the DNTDs and the German WASH network discussed the importance of WASH (= water, sanitation, hygiene) for combating neglected tropical diseases at a virtual event for the Week for Water and Development (WW4D) organized by the German Society for International cooperation (GIZ). Dr. Anthony Solomon, WHO Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, pointed out the importance of building partnerships in the WASH community in order to implement the new WHO-NTD roadmap worldwide. Constanze Bönig from Veterinaires sans Frontières described the numerous possibilities with the ONE Health approach to combine WASH activities with the fight against neglected tropical diseases. Dr. Ngozi Ekeke, from DAHW Nigeria, emphasized the importance of clean water for wound healing of infectious diseases such as leprosy. Ghion Shumetie from CBM Ethiopia explained that he and his team often have to create interest in better sanitary facilities in rural areas, and teach simple techniques like hand washing or building and using latrines. Birgit Pickel, Head of department at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) underlined the importance of the holistic approach to combine human and animal health with environmental issues in order to reduce health risks. She regretted that due to COVID-19 the Kigali Declaration (update of the London Declaration on combating NTDs) had to be postponed and that the BMZ would like to support the efforts in the coming year.