SHINING THE LIGHT ON NEGLECTED TROPICAL DISEASES
By: Emmanuella Nzeribe (received on 10/2/2022)
The World Neglected tropical diseases (NTD) day 2022 marked the third year of celebration and a global movement to end the group of diseases that affect one in five people globally leading to about 1.7 billion disabilities, stigma, and death. These group of WHO-recognized diseases have long affected the world‘s poorest where sanitation is poor and there is overwhelmed level of healthcare delivery. Over the last ten years, there have been global health successes with over 43 countries eliminating at least one disease and over 600 million no longer requiring treatment. This year‘s global awareness campaign also marks the end of the ten years London Declaration on the NTDs.
Last year, the WHO launched the 2021- 2030 road map with the goal of reducing the number of people that need interventions by 90 percent, 100 countries eliminating at least one NTD, and complete eradication of two NTDs. The 2021–2030 NTD roadmaps sustain a further acceleration of interventions but also introduce a broader and more ambitious agenda, calling to be accompanied by a new political declaration. Sponsored by the government of Rwanda, in collaboration with the other major stakeholders, the Kigali declaration was launched as a continuation of the London declaration to renew the commitment toward ending the neglect. 
This declaration capitalized on the multiple stakeholders that the London Declaration did and added the need for countries to take up ownership of NTD programs. To ensure long-term sustainability, the Kigali declaration factored in the integration of all NTD interventions into mainstream healthcare. More stakeholders such as the regional political leaders, parliamentarians, and local government leaders were encouraged to do their bits to ensure that we end the neglect of tropical diseases. 
A major stakeholder emphasized in the Kigali declaration is the youth. As young pharmacists, we have our energy, creativity, and sense of innovation to bring on board.
We shine the light on NTDs by staying 100 % committed to ending NTDs by using our voices, and supporting youth communities and young people with disabilities to ensure that no one is left behind in this fight against the NTDs.
We have a role to play in engaging and supporting the international and local decision-making bodies in carrying out advocacy and delivering the WHO 2030 NTD road map.
1. Tamah Ghosh (2022) World NTD day 2022. Accessed on 9th February 2022. Available at https://rstmh.org/news-blog/blogs/world-ntd-day-2022
2. Kigali Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases. (2022). Accessed on 9th February 2022. Available at https://unitingtocombatntds.org/kigali-declaration/the-declaration/
3. Elphick-Pooley, T., Engels, D. & Uniting to Combat NTDs. World NTD Day 2022 and a new Kigali Declaration to galvanize commitment to end neglected tropical diseases. Infect Dis Poverty 11, 2 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40249-021-00932-2