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Reports Examine Global NTD Response One Year After London Declaration

Two reports released Wednesday provide an update on the global response against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) a year after leaders of some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies met in London and agreed to fight the diseases, Guardian health editor Sarah Boseley reports in her “Global Health Blog” (1/16). In its second report (.pdf) on NTDs, titled “Sustaining the drive to overcome the global impact of neglected tropical diseases,” the WHO “says that ambitious goals to control or eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) entirely or in certain geographic areas by 2020 are within reach,” Intellectual Property Watch writes (Hermann, 1/16). The agency reports that “a new global strategy enacted in 2010 is resulting in unprecedented progress against 17 such diseases,” and notes that “[i]n the past two years, millions of people afflicted with 17 of the world’s neglected tropical diseases have benefited from receiving regular treatment,” according to VOA News (Schlein, 1/16).

A separate report, titled “From Promises to Progress: The First Annual Report on the London Declaration on NTDs,” “was developed by London Declaration partners to track the delivery of commitments and identify remaining gaps,” according to the report summary (January 2013). The report, released Wednesday by pharmaceutical companies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) “who were involved in the London meeting,” found that “29 countries began receiving albendazole or mebendazole to treat or prevent soil-transmitted helminthiasis, increasing treatments provided with those drugs to 238 million last year from 46 million in 2011,” according to Sarah Boseley’s “Global Health Blog.” The blog adds, “A scorecard has now been developed by the partners to track progress on the diseases towards goals for 2020, which include elimination of guinea worm” (1/16).