Rwanda to host global summit on malaria, neglected tropical diseases

RWANDA has been selected to host the global summit on prevention of malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) 2020, a senior health official said.
“Rwanda is ready to host the summit in June 25, 2020, and this offers a unique and big opportunity for our country to host such a health big gathering on malaria and NTDs,” said Rwandan minister of health, Diane Gashumba at the launch of the preparatory phase of the summit in the Rwandan capital Kigali.
According to her, the summit will provide great global attention and catalyze action to end these preventable yet often deadly diseases that have plagued humanity for thousands of years.
“We need renewed political commitment to fight against malaria and NTDs. We need to share across countries the best practices and innovations to beat these diseases,” said Gashumba.
According to Kasonde Mwinga, World Health Organization (WHO) representative to Rwanda, control and elimination of malaria and NTDs is core to the economic growth of Africa.
“We need to engage and galvanize the countries, the partners, the communities, and the individuals themselves, to get to a point where we have eliminated these diseases,” said Mwinga .
“We all know this requires resources. It will also be a moment to mobilize resources,” added Mwinga.
The summit will be the first pledging event for NTDs in Africa, calling for 1.5 billion U.S dollars towards fulfilling the upcoming WHO Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) 2030 roadmap, said Mwinga.
According to WHO, the objective of the 2030 NTDs roadmap is to be a key guiding document for the global response to NTDs over the next decade.
“To beat malaria and NTDs, we must accelerate local ownership and commitment, innovation, and investment,” said Diallo Abdourahmane, chief executive officer, RBM Partnership to End Malaria, a global partnership for a malaria-free world at the launch of the preparatory phase of the summit.
He added, “In order to realize the Africa we want, we must increase the amount we spend on health in our national governments.”
The Kigali summit will be the first formal summit to bring a united global focus on ending these preventable diseases that have been devastating the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people for thousands of years, according to organizers.
The summit, co-hosted by two global partnerships tackling the diseases, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria and Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases, will be held on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
Over the past decade, roughly 1.1 million lives have been saved through preventative measures such as drugs, insecticides and education on malaria. However, the malaria parasite is developing resistance to current drugs, and the mosquito vector is developing resistance to insecticides, according to RBM Partnership to End Malaria.