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Rwanda to Host First-ever Global Summit on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases

28.01.2020

Monday, 27 January 2020 - The Government of Rwanda announced today that it will host a Global Summit on malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) on 25 June 2020, on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali. 

The Summit will be the first formal gathering to bring a united global focus on ending these preventable diseases for good. The Summit will call on world leaders to meet the CHOGM 2018 pledge to halve malaria by 2023 and deliver the political and financial commitments of $1.5bn to end the scourge of neglected tropical diseases.

Each year more than 200 million people get sick. Over 1.5 billion people – one in five people globally are affected by neglected tropical diseases, a group of 20 diseases including elephantiasis, sleeping sickness, leprosy, blinding trachoma and intestinal worms that debilitate, disfigure, disable, and can kill. Over 400,000 die from malaria, and more than 90% of them on the African continent most of them young children in sub-Saharan Africa. Even though delivering treatments can cost as little as 50 cents per person per year, all these diseases thrive in areas of poverty and strike hardest against the most vulnerable - women, particularly when they are pregnant, children under five, and people living in remote, underserved communities.

During the official announcement of the upcoming Summit Dr. Diane Gashumba, Minister of Health renewed the call for further government expenditure to Health:  "It is unacceptable that billions of people around the world continue to suffer and, too often, die from malaria and neglected tropical diseases. These diseases are preventable, treatable and curable. Today, Rwanda commits more than one-fifth of government expenditure to health. Across our countries, domestic resources for health are growing and more of our countries supported the most recent replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria." 

The Government of Rwanda is taking the lead in reducing the burden of Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases. Rwanda is launching it’s own Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaign which will mark the first-ever World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day alongside the launch of the new strategy of taking the usual integrated Mass Drug Administration and education for behavior change and practices to the decentralized level to reach all population at risk and ensure better sustainability.


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