World leaders reaffirm commitments to fight malaria and neglected tropical diseases

+ + + Historic opportunity at Kigali Summit

Kigali/Berlin 23.06.2022 -The Kigali Summit on Malaria and NTDs celebrated the Kigali Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases. Germany supported the fight against neglected tropical diseases by signing the declaration in 2022. In a video message, Niels Annen, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) underlined numerous commitments of Germany in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) and West African Economic Community regions, the commitment with a special focus on One Health and building laboratory capacity and diagnostics for the fight against neglected tropical diseases. The Kigali Declaration builds on the progress made over the last two decades since the London Declaration.

Numerous heads of state and government from African, Asian and European countries, CEOs of pharmaceutical companies, civil society organisations, research institutions, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have signed the Declaration. The summit was hosted by Rwanda's President Paul Kagame and co-organised by the RBM Partnership to Fight Malaria and Uniting to Combat NTDs.

Melinda Gates, in honour of the late Dr Mwele Malecela, announced a plan to establish a mentorship programme for African women working on neglected tropical diseases programmes. Dr Malecela was a respected scientist and public health figure. The mentorship programme aims to provide African women with leadership skills, travel and networking opportunities so they can become leaders in the combat against neglected tropical diseases.

At the Kigali Summit, the malaria and NTD community joined forces for the first time to point out that investing in malaria and NTD control has a much broader impact and that increased investment will strengthen health systems and protect against future pandemics. Efforts to eradicate these diseases are hampered by inadequate health systems and limited programme funding, as well as reduced attention and prioritisation at global and regional levels.

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