By Sharon Atieno

With over 1.7 billion people suffering from neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), most of them in Africa and other developing countries in Asia and Latin America, Kenya is set to host the global summit on NTDs which will run from May 29 – June 1st, 2022.

The three-day Summit organized by the END Fund, a private philanthropic organization working towards elimination of NTDs by the year 2030 will bring together over 200 delegates from 30 countries, including senior government officials, donors, and public health experts to discuss programmatic and advocacy best practices to explore innovative ways to accelerate progress towards ending NTDs by the year 2030.

The Summit will be hybrid, offering a virtual option to those unable to travel to Nairobi for the in-person gathering. The first day (Monday May-30th) will be the summit kick-off, beginning with an official ceremony, and reflections on the past 10 years of progress against NTDs. The second day will centre on future goals and upcoming milestones, including the achievement targets in the WHO 2030 NTD road map while the third day will provide the opportunity to mobilise the resources, political and community commitment, and collaborative action needed to end unnecessary suffering from NTDs, and an official closing ceremony.

NTDs cause severe pain, long- term disability, and lead to death for more than 170,000 people globally every year. These diseases lead to malnutrition and low school attendance among school-age children. The debilitating effects among adults negatively impact overall productivity, hindering households from engaging in gainful employment or economic productivity, further driving families into abject poverty.