News from DNTDs

Networks from Canada, France, Germany, Japan and Switzerland at the Annual Meet-up of the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases

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.

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Workshop at the World Health Summit: Neglected Tropical Diseases and their Co-Morbidities

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.

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Chair of Parliamentary Advisory Council Visits British Parliament

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.


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Members of German Parliament Establish Advisory Council 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.

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International Expert Summit for Combatting Neglected Tropical Diseases –

Berlin. February 21, 2018 – Over 60 representatives from international organizations and networks combatting neglected tropical diseases, as well as members of the German and British parliaments met for a parliamentary breakfast. Sponsored by German delegate Dr. Georg Kippels MP, the attendees discussed the current status of, and the upcoming challenges facing the battle against neglected tropical diseases. Nigerian health expert Dr. Joseph Chukwu German of the Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Association DAHW described the challenges in Nigeria. He pointed out that many pharmaceutical companies already provided medication for neglected tropical diseases free of charge. But since medicines were not considered a service, there was more to be done in terms of their distribution. Jeremy Lefroy, member of the British parliament, explained the initiative by British representatives who joined forces across party lines to better support the fight against neglected tropical diseases. He invited his German colleagues to England for an exchange.

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Sucess story: 30 Years Mectizan Programme

Berlin. 18.10.2017 -  Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti, Regional Director for Africa at the World Health Organization (WHO) gave an overview on the fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases and the role of the Mectizan Donation Program. Adrian Hopkins, Consultant to the CBM and former CEO of the Mectizan Donation Program (MDP) outlined the start of the Mectizan programme. In 1987, Merck announced the donation of Mectizan, a breakthrough medicine for the treatment of onchocerciasis, for as long as needed. More commonly known as "river blindness," onchocerciasis is found in six countries in Latin America, in Africa, and in Yemen. It is transmitted through the bites of black flies and can cause intense itching, disfiguring dermatitis, eye lesions and, over time, blindness. Ken Gustavsen, Executive Director for Corporate Responsibility at MSD explained the donation programme was the longest lasting medication initiative worldwide, as well as one of the most successful public-private health operations. Dr Yao Sodahlon, CEO of the Mectizan Donation Program (MDP) pointed out that the success achieved so far could only be upheld if new treatment strategies, alternative solutions and synergies with politics, governments, economies and society were continuously sought after. 


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Innovative Ways in Fighting NTDs

Berlin. 16.10.2017 - At the World Health Summit in Berlin Dr Humphrey Mazigo, Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences/Tansania, Dr Dr Carsten Köhler, Tropical Disease Specialist and Director of the Center of Excellence of Tropical Medicine at the Institute for Tropical Medicine at the University Hospital Tübingen, Dr Jutta Reinhard-Rupp, Head of the R&D Translational Innovation Platform for Global Health at Merck, Prof Dr Achim Hörauf, Director of the Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology at the University Bonn Medical Center and DNTDs speaker, Dr Monique Wasunna, Director of DNDi Africa, Dr Aluisio Cotrim Segurado, University of Sao Paulo, Faculty of Medecine, President, Brazil, Prof Dr David Molyneux, former Director at the Liverpool School for Tropical Medicine (not on the picture) discussed on game-changers in NTD-programmes. 

The event brought together experts from research, civil society, the private sector and national governments from the entire spectrum of health-related fields and industries. We offered a platform for exchange between practitioners from government bodies at various levels and from research. The experts debated on experiences and challenges related to research and development as well as implementation programmes against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

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Together against NTDs

Prof. Jürgen May presented the German Network against Neglected Tropical Diseases (DNTDs) at a conference organized by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the University Würzburg.

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Focusing on G 7 and Ebola

Don’t lose sight of neglected tropical diseases because of the Ebola controversy

– German Network warns against concentrating aid on one disease

Berlin, January 30, 2015. The agenda for the upcoming G7 summit meeting at Schloß Elmau in June includes neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and poverty-related diseases such as Ebola. In a letter to public, business and social policymakers, the German Network against Neglected Tropical Diseases (DNTDs) warns against a one-sided concentration on combating Ebola. This kind of narrow focus will not meet the health care needs in the affected countries. As a result, efforts to fight many other diseases that are already neglected would fall even further behind.  More people die because of Ebola than from Ebola.

Neglected tropical diseases endanger, infect or permanently disable more than a billion people worldwide. Around 500,000 people die each year as a consequence. Children are robbed of their chance to develop, maternal mortality among infected women increases and adults are rendered unable to work. The disease burden due to NTDs is comparable with that of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Despite this, the German public has so far hardly taken notice of these diseases.

Better utilize synergies in fighting and preventing NTDs and Ebola

The German Network against Neglected Tropical Diseases (DNTDs) is asking to the German government to

  • Systematically strengthen the local medical structures and make them affordable as well as accessible for all people, without barriers.
  • Support and expand the existing program to combat NTDs.
  • Utilize existing NTD structures and capacities to combat Ebola.
  • Support basic research for new medical interventions, especially in the area of NTDs.
  • Expand and intensify government support for development programs for new vaccines, medicines and other interventions to combat NTDs.
  • Eliminate implementation bottlenecks in the use of existing health care measures.
  • Integrate elements to promote health in all development programs.

In another statement addressed to German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, among others, DNTDs emphasized that successful national programs to combat NTDs should be expanded further and also used to combat Ebola. In this position paper, DNTDs also advanced for discussion the idea of including neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) within the mandate of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), and of intensifying research and development of measures to fight neglected tropical diseases.

There will be an opportunity on February 3–4, 2015, for background discussions with board members from the German Network against Neglected Tropical Diseases (DNTDs), who will be in Berlin for meetings in the Federal Chancellery and the German Bundestag:

Prof. Dr. Jürgen May, Chairman of the Board of DNTDs and Head of the Working Group on Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine.

Prof. Dr. KH Martin Kollmann, Head of the Expert Advisory Group for Neglected Tropical Diseases at the Christoffel Mission for the Blind (CBM). Prof. Kollmann is a specialist in ophthalmology who teaches at the University of Nairobi in Kenya.

Please address any questions you might have to the DNTDs coordination office:

Telephone: +49 (0)30 236246 03, email:

Please find the attached/enclosed letter to the German Chancellor and the position paper on combating Ebola. More information can be found at our website:


The German Network against Neglected Tropical Diseases (DNTDs) constitutes a national platform that works together with international partners to intensify the fight against poverty-related and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The German network is allied with the London Declaration on NTDs and works to support the World Health Organization (WHO) and programs in the affected countries in efforts to bring at least ten of the total 17 NTDs under control by the end of this decade.

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Focusing on Ebola - position paper of the German Network against Neglected Tropical Diseases (DNTDs)

Berlin, January 23, 2015. In a letter to public, business and social policymakers, the German network warned to lose sight of the neglected tropical diseases (DNTDs) by concentrating on Ebola. This kind of narrow focus will not meet the health care needs in the affected countries.

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Position of the German Network against Neglected Tropical Diseases (DNTDs) for the G7 summit under the presidency of Germany

Berlin, December 18, 2014. The position was sent to the German Chancellor and the Sherpa of the German Chancellor for the G7 process, the Federal Ministers at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), at the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), at the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG), the chairs of the Bundestag commissions on the Committee for Economic Cooperation and Development (AWZ), for Education, Research and Technology Assessment, the Budget, Health and Foreign Affairs, the whips of the CDU/CSU, SPD, Alliance 90/The Greens and The Left.

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