Policy Engagement Essential To Eliminating NTDs By 2020

“Recently, we have been thrilled to see [neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)] take the spotlight at three prominent international policy forums — the African Union (A.U.), the World Health Assembly (WHA), and the Organization of American States (OAS),” Richard Hatzfeld, communications director at the Sabin Vaccine Institute who also works with the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases and its END7 Campaign, writes in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog. “These new demonstrations of political will are catapulting the global movement against NTDs to new heights, and they are indicative of transforming attitudes among policymakers toward the importance of seeing the end of these diseases,” he writes and describes actions from each forum. “We are confident that eliminating the most common NTDs as a public health threat by 2020 is possible, but not without broad support by the world community,” he states, adding, “Policy engagement is … an important part of the solution” (8/7).