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Water And Sanitation Sector Must Speak Up To Be Included In NTD Eradication Efforts

Applauding the signing of the so-called “London Declaration on NTDs” by a consortium of public and private partners last week, Ned Breslin, CEO of Water For People, writes in this Huffington Post “Impact” opinion piece, “I am saddened by the emphasis on vaccines and medicines as the seemingly only vehicles to eradicate NTDs by London Declaration signatories. And I wonder where water, sanitation and hygiene are in this mix, as by all accounts it is not anywhere to be seen in the NTD eradication initiative.”

Breslin says this is the “fault” of the water and sanitation sector, writing, “Our voices, which should be central to any debate on worm eradication, are simply not heard at all. We are too busy arguing about ‘our models,’ making the case that we need more ‘projects,’ more money for loans to women …, promoting the next great technology that rarely works and crying for more funding and support instead of roaring for transformative change globally.” He continues, “An effective eradication campaign would combine flowing water, latrines and proper handwashing plus medication to truly eradicate NTDs,” adding that the sector “will be left behind until we can demonstrate we are problem solvers and that our investments lead to transformative change for communities worldwide, rather than a community that continues to sell poverty and peddle for more money on emotions rather than measurable results” (2/8).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.