Neglected tropical diseases

Report launch at the Palais de Nations

Geneva | 15 January 2013

During the launch of the report at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, WHO’s Assistant Director-General Dr Hiroki Nakatani thanked global partners, particularly the United States government, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and pharmaceutical companies for their unflinching support and contribution to WHO.

Dr Lorenzo Savioli, Director of WHO’s Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, spoke of the challenges in reaching the roadmap’s 2015 and 2020 targets. An average of 700 million people worldwide receive preventive chemotherapy treatment annually for at least one of four of the 17 diseases. Innovation case by case is needed in tackling these diseases to ensure that public-health principles are in place.

Ms Kris Easter, USAID Representative in Geneva, spoke of the United States government’s commitment to supporting WHO in the fight against neglected tropical diseases and lauded the efforts of the private sector in making all the donations to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

Mr Mario Ottiglio, representative of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), announced that there has been a 40% increase in research for neglected tropical diseases. A new IFPMA report to be released shortly will give details of current efforts being made to ensure that new medicines will be available on the market.

Mr Jean Phillipe Moriko of the Permanent Mission of Côte d'Ivoire thanked WHO and global partners and spoke of his country’s initiative in proposing a resolution on the neglected tropical diseases during the forthcoming World Health Assembly in May 2013.