Accra, June 22, GNA – More than 100 experts, policy makers and heath leaders will gather in Accra from June 25-27 to discuss ways of scaling up interventions to control or eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in the Africa Region of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
A statement issued in Accra on Friday said the three-day Regional Stakeholders' Consultative Meeting on NTDs would bring together representatives of endemic countries, donor agencies, pharmaceutical firms, WHO and other partners to discuss and agree, among other things, coordination mechanisms at national and regional levels for NTD programme implementation.
It said participants at the meeting, which is aimed at obtaining stakeholder commitment for funding NTD financial resource requirements, would exchange experiences on the use of country Master Plans for decision making regarding NTD control.
The meeting would discuss and agree on the major elements that would constitute the regional roadmap for accelerating control and elimination of NTDs in endemic countries.
The statement said high on the agenda for the meeting would be the inauguration on June 27 of the WHO Regional Advisory Groups on NTDs.
“The principal briefs of the advisory group are to provide WHO with high quality, well considered advice and recommendations on NTD control and elimination, as well as facilitate and monitor the scale up of interventions for the control of NTDs.”
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Luis Sambo, said: “Genuine partnership and effective coordination of initiatives and actions are key to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of tools and interventions for the control and elimination of these poverty-related diseases.
The outcomes of this consultation should propel countries to establish, by 2015, suitable NTD control programmes.”
Among those expected to address the meeting are former President John Agyekum Kufuor, who is the current NTD Special Envoy of the Global Network for NTDs, a Washington-based initiative which works with governments, partners, business and civil society worldwide to improve access to NTD treatments to those who need them most.
The consultative meeting will be followed by the annual NTD National Programme Managers' Meeting on Preventive Chemotherapy to be held on June 28.
The statement said the meeting would provide a platform for national NTD programme managers and their partners to review current programme strategies and performance as well as share experiences and clarify future plans to control and eliminate NTDs in endemic countries.