WASH and NTD community first joint performance

World Water Week Stockholm 2019

Stockholm/Berlin – August 27, 2019.  German WASH network and DNTDs organized for the first time a joint session "WASH and Neglected Tropical Diseases: Improving Inclusion and Health" at the International World Water Week. Every year, the WWW brings together around 3,000 experts, representatives of governments and multilateral organizations who deal with all questions related to water, particularly in emerging and developing countries.

The main focus of the session was to show the connections between WASH and the fight against NTD. Karl Puchner from DAHW described the challenges of NTDs and the why it WASH aspects must also be considered. Constanze Bönig from Veterinarians Without Borders talked about the special problems of animal husbandry and water. Yael Velleman, formerly with WHO and now with the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, presented the WHO toolkit on WASH and NTD control, presented at the NNN meeting in Addis Ababa last year. Waltaji Terfa from the WHO Regional Office in Ethiopia described the experience in this endemic country and called for a joint “commitment” and an “accountability matrix” to better interlink the activities of the two sectors

The participants of the joint session, predominantly from the WASH area, engaged in discussions on the topics of evidence, capacity building and coordination, each with a view to combining the two areas of activity.

Harald Zimmer, member of the board of the DNTDs, Senior Consultant International, Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (vfa) emphasized, that the event was a very good first initiative to jointly talk on cross-sectoral topics. He continued that he was pleased to inform the WASH community that activities for NTD control are largely missing within WASH-programmes though they are very important. Important not only for fighting NTDs but also for sustainable and successful WASH programmes. Harald Zimmer therefore argued in favor for more joint cooperation.

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