WHO | Investment rationale for tackling NTDs

22 Sep 2022
World Health Organization, Neglected Tropical Disease Department

Ending the neglect to attain the Sustainable Development Goals: a rationale for continued investment in tackling neglected tropical diseases 2021–2030 seeks to maintain and accelerate the momentum generated by the road map for 2021-2030, and to pave the way towards achieving the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

The World Health Organization’s Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (WHO/NTD) has published an important companion document to its flagship strategy, calling for continued mobilization and investment to reduce the burden of disease for millions of people worldwide.

The new NTD investment rationale highlights the need to continuously support cost-efficient interventions both to consolidate the hard-won gains of recent years and to accelerate progress in the coming years. It is also a challenge to the NTD community to think about new financing approaches that could more effectively support actions that cut across various health and non-health sectors.

This document sets out the investment priorities in the areas emphasized by the road map. These include the need for greater attention to key programme dimensions such as diagnostics and monitoring and evaluation, more catalytic support to mainstreaming NTD programmes with national health systems, more in-depth collaboration with individual countries, and more meaningful collaboration beyond the health sector.

The rationale also draws attention to areas in which there is currently insufficient or partial economic evidence, and to the need for further evidence to institute and supplement best practices in this diverse field. This is very critical as this document appears at a time of budget cuts and realignments of national and international priorities.

Four country cases showed success in implementation cross-cutting approaches across the globe, as well as the benefits that these approaches brought.

The rationale is clear, however:  the value of investing in the fight against NTDs cannot be overstated. It is a task that requires the attention and commitment of all those working in the field and all those whose lives may be touched by the burden of these diseases. It constitutes an important call to collective and concentrated action.