World leaders reaffirm commitments to fight malaria and neglected tropical diseases
+ + + Historic opportunity at Kigali Summit
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.