Neglected Tropical Disease NGDO Network
The Neglected Tropical Disease NGDO Network was established in October 2009 create a global forum for nongovernmental development organizations (NGDOs) working to control onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, soil transmitted helminths, and trachoma. These Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) share a common strategy of community-based health interventions that can be integrated to strengthen health care systems.
NTDs affect the poorest populations in the developing world. Those afflicted with these diseases live in remote, rural areas, urban slums, or conflict zones where there is little money for medication and health care. Control of NTDs is often overlooked in favor of higher priority diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
One sixth of the world's population — more than one billion people — suffers from one or more NTD. The NGDOs work independently and as a group to alleviate the suffering and poverty caused by these diseases.
The NGDO Group for Onchocerciasis Control was established in 1992 to coordinate and facilitate interventions for onchocerciasis control. Following the formation of the Global Alliance to Eliminate LF, an NGDO Network for LF Elimination was established, and to address trachoma, the International Coalition for Trachoma Control (ICTC) was formed. These groups began meeting together in 2006 to work toward the integration of their respective health interventions and to facilitate collaboration. In September 2009, the three groups agreed to merge and the new NTD NGDO Network was established. This flexible alliance will allow the Network to remain dynamic and flexible in order to respond to the changing programmatic and funding landscapes.
This is an important move forward as it potentially allows a mechanism for a strong NGDO voice with organizations that are currently leading the NTD issues globally (i.e. Global Network, WHO, donors, etc). It also allows the flexibility to invite other NTDs, such as soil transmitted Helminths, to join, while the technical working groups addressing individual disease issues remain intact.
The NTD NGDO Network will meet annually; the original groups will continue to meet separately to discuss disease specific issues.
The primary objectives of the NTD NGDO Network are to:
- improve advocacy for neglected tropical disease control by giving NGDOs a unified voice at national and international levels
- facilitate the formation of partnerships among the group’s members at the international, regional, and national levels
- provide a mechanism allowing for coordination of NGDO activities at national and international levels
- share technical updates, develop and uphold best practices, and contribute to WHO guidelines
- present the common interests and concerns of implementing NGDOs with a unified voice in mechanisms being established for the mobilization of implementation resources
- support the development and maintenance of national task forces in NTD endemic countries
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