Activities of the DNTDs

An Informal Chat with the Parliamentary State Secretary from the BMZ

Berlin, 30 January 2019 – As part of an informal chat hosted by the German Network against Neglected Tropical Diseases in collaboration with the Parliamentarian Board to Fight NTDs and Strengthen Health Systems, Dr Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), emphasized the federal government's strong commitment to global health policy.

Although the considerable resources dedicated to global health policy – one billion euro each year – are channeled into the large-scale multilateral programs of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) and the GAVI vaccination programs, neglected tropical diseases are becoming increasingly important, said Dr Flachsbarth. The BMZ is campaigning to see NTDs taken into consideration by the GFATM in future. Dr Flachsbarth said it is clear that the holistic approach of the German development programs – which is also prioritized in the sustainable development goals (SDGs) – and therefore a “frontal attack” on an individual disease is not preferable. Neglected tropical diseases could benefit from cross-disciplinary approaches such as One Health and WASH and this is already happening in some areas.

In the open discussion, in which the audience was also included, it became clear that the fight against NTDs could also gain in importance in German development cooperation. The DNTDs emphasized that its members can support the BMZ in designing and launching programs to combat NTDs.

New Orleans/Berlin 26.10.2016 – Representatives from Canadian, French, German, Japanese and Swiss networks against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) came together at the meeting of the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD). This year’s topic was “Engage to Eliminate”. Prof. Dr. Achim Hörauf, speaker of the German Network Against NTDs and Director of the Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, University Bonn said “in the coming year, experts and Uniting to Combat NTDs (UTC) will try to plan a workshop for these networks”.

COR-NTD is a group of researchers, program implementers and their in-country partners with the shared goal of optimizing NTD control and elimination. Its aim is to create new synergies within the operational research arena for NTDs and align that research with specific program needs.

Source: vfa/Laessig

Integration in Existing Health Programmes is Possible!

Berlin, October 15, 2018. Over 100 experts gathered at the World Health Summit to discuss neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and their co-morbidities – how they affect healthcare systems such as HIV/AIDS, anaemia among women and children, as well as mental illness. They find that co-morbidities, secondary contractions can be effectively treated or even prevented when the relation between NTDs and other diseases is discovered early enough. Thus, bladder cancer, for example, especially in sub-Saharan African countries, is often not recognized as a result of genital schistosomiasis. Integrated treatment could save lives and reduce health costs considerably.
The health consultant Dirk Engels joined the discussion and presented the new study “Integrating Neglected Tropical Diseases: Overlapping themes and projects in the German development cooperation portfolio” to an international audience. He described the link between NTDs and co-morbidities based on female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) and psychological disorders, as well as the possibility of integrating NTD-components into existing health programmes. Narcis Kabaterine, from Uganda, consultant at Imperial College/UK, pointed to the connection between FGS and HIV. He estimates that 90 percent of the women and girls infected with schistosomiasis are also affected by genital schistosomiasis and thus more susceptible to HIV. Katey Owen, Director of Department of Neglected Diseases from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation introduced a new platform for distributing medication to combat NTDs. Christoph Benn, Senior Advisor at Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria emphasized that more people from civil society would have to raise awareness for neglected tropical diseases in order to achieve the goal of leaving no-one behind. The workshop was chaired by Carsten Köhler, member of the board of DNTDs, Director Center of Excellence of Tropical Medicine, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Institute for Tropical Medicine at University Hospital Tübingen.
The German Network Against Neglected Tropical Diseases (DNTDs) and its numerous members from research, civil society and the private sector call upon the German government to finally take action and enforce an integrated approach in the treatment programmes for neglected tropical diseases by incorporating it into other health and development programmes. The new study of Dirk Engels and Christian Franz on “Integrating Neglected Tropical Diseases” commissioned by the DNTDs spells out concrete starting points and realistic modes of implementation.

Talks with British Delegates and Ethiopia’s Health Minister

Berlin, June 21, 2018 – The chair of the German parliamentary advisory council against neglected tropical diseases, Dr. Georg Kippels, and an expert delegation from the German Network against Neglected Tropical Diseases DNTDs have visited the British Parliament. Dr. Kippels is a member of the German federal parliament and sits in the subcommittee for global health. He was following an invitation by British parliamentarian Jeremy Lefroy, who presides over the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases APPMG. The guest of honor for this inter-parliamentary meet-up was Dr. Amir Aman, Ethiopia’s Minister of Health. He talked about the health policies his country had adopted and pointed out that Ethiopia’s case showed how progress could be achieved when national governments took charge of combating neglected tropical disease with the help of donors. Dr. Aman emphasized that combating neglected tropical diseases also meant a country had to strengthen its health system accordingly. All participants reaffirmed the necessity for cross-national cooperation and agreed to plan regular exchanges and joint activities to further the battle against neglected tropical diseases.

Berlin. June 14, 2018 – Amidst a ceremony, members of the German parliament initiated an advisory council to combat neglected tropical diseases and strengthen health systems. Heike Baehrens MP is one of the ten parliamentary delegates who founded the council, and sits as vice council chair. She emphasized that the parliamentarians were committed to supporting the initiatives by the German Network Against Neglected Tropical Diseases DNTDs. Her colleague, Dr. Georg Kippels MP, heads the council. “All representatives gathered here today are well aware of the importance of joining efforts to battle the most prevalent infectious diseases. Worldwide, 1.5 billion people are affected. They mostly belong to the poorest of the poor and lack sufficient access to food, water or health services. Alongside the DNTDs, we want to give these people a voice here in Germany”, he said.