Neglected tropical diseases are not neglected by the German government
++ World Health Summit 2021 with a discussion on digitalisation and NTDs
Berlin, 26.10.2021 "Neglected tropical diseases are not neglected by the German Government" declared Paul Zubeil of the Federal Ministry of Health at the World Health Summit Workshop "New Impulses from the WHO-NTD-Roadmap 2030, Digitalization as Opportunity for Improving Health Management Systems". He listed numerous activities of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Research and the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development in the context of NTD control. He also stressed that more data should be collected on the gender-related impact of NTDs in the future. An overview of how and which digital tools can improve programme work to combat NTDs at different stages, from education to treatment and follow-up/examination of patients, was given by Dr Babar Qureshi from CBM. Carolin Gunesh from DAHW described specifically the work with the digital app Audio Pedia , which is used especially in the field of education. She underlined how important it is to adapt the programmes to the respective conditions on site. As NTD patients are usually among the poorest of the poor. Often, they lack simple things like electricity or are sometimes unable to read and write. The importance of digital systems for data, especially in the supply chain, was emphasised by Dr Sultani Hadley Matendechero of the Kenya National Public Health Institute. Such a tool is currently being tested in a pilot project in Kenya and will be expanded if successful. Dr Pauline Mwinzi, WHO-ESPEN (Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases) described how the ESPEN collect tool collects real time data and makes it publicly available via the ESPEN portal. She emphasised that this data is key to success in the fight against NTDs.
The discussion was moderated by Dr. Dr. Carsten Köhler, University of Tübingen and Prof. Dr. Achim Hörauf, IMMIP Bonn. For the sixth time, the German Network against Neglected Tropical Diseases organised a session at the World Health Summit.