ICTC signs Abu Dhabi Declaration calling on a global indicator for NTDs in the SDGs

15 Sep 2015
Signatures on the Abu Dhabi Declaration

During the sixth annual meeting in Abu Dhabi, UAE, in September 2015, ICTC and other members of the Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Nongovernmental Development Organization (NGDO) Network (NNN) declared their full and unanimous support for a global indicator for NTDs for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, Target 3.3, reflecting language endorsed by the World Health Organization and the NTD community. 

The Abu Dhabi Declaration

More than 1.4 billion of the world’s poorest people suffer from NTDs, including 500 million children. These diseases perpetuate poverty by causing blindness, malnutrition, anemia, disfigurement, and disability — preventing children from attending school and parents from going to work. The NNN is a global forum for NGDOs working to meet international targets to control or eliminate NTDs such as onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, soil transmitted helminthiasis, trachoma, and leprosy. Our continued and active collaboration is a critical component of efforts to reduce extreme poverty.

NGDOs are uniquely placed, given their field-based programs and experience, to assist in reaching the world's most underserved populations, like those suffering from NTDs. The NNN promotes comprehensive approaches that prevent, treat, and manage consequences of diseases that affect the poorest of the poor. Prevention activities include hygiene behavior change, promoting access to water and sanitation as well as integrating interventions within the education sector school feeding programs to tackle malnutrition. Preventive chemotherapy for NTDs is typically administered through mass drug administration using donated medicines from several major global pharmaceutical companies, including Eisai, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, MSD, Merck Serono, and Pfizer. Management of consequences from NTDs is a continuum of care that includes morbidity management, community-based rehabilitation, and stigma reduction.

Guided by a shared commitment to equitable and sustainable development, members are committed to working closely together to combat NTDs and reaffirm their support of the following activities:

  • Support governments to achieve control and elimination targets of endemic NTDs
  • Finalize baseline disease mapping
  • Scale up of mass drug administration and behavior change activities for sustained impact
  • Implementing field ready tools and practices informed by clinical and operational research and the best available data
  • Align NTD programs with nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs where appropriate to help break the cycle of disease and enable appropriate care for those suffering from NTDs
  • Strengthen health systems, especially at the community level, by empowering communities to control disease through provision of services, training community health workers, and implementing information, communication and education campaigns. 
  • Scale up efforts to address the need for surgical intervention and home based care for those suffering from NTDs, and reduce NTD-related stigma and discrimination
  • Promote gender equity and the inclusion of people with NTD-related disabilities in mainstream services and development programs, and of people with disabilities in all NTD programs
  • Develop clear guidelines as to where and when to stop treatment to achieve elimination targets

In support of the proposed global indicator for NTDs under SDG 3, Target 3.3, and the SDGs in general, members also affirm their commitment to:

  • Support data collection for the NTD Global Indicator
  • Support ministries of health to analyze and publish the results of the data collected
  • Work in partnership with key stakeholders and decision makers, nationally and internationally to achieve control and elimination targets through prioritization of NTDs
  • Support the implementation of the WHO WASH and NTDs Strategy and Action Plan 2015 - 2020, launched at this meeting.

Endorsed by NNN NGDO Members:

American Leprosy Missions
Bill Simmons, President and CEO

Austrian Leprosy Relief Association
Matthias Wittrock, Managing Director

Blantyre Institute for Community Ophthalmology
Khumbo Kalua, Director

The Carter Center
Amb. (ret.) Mary Ann Peters, CEO

Babar Qureshi, Director of Neglected Tropical Diseases and Senior Medical Advisor

The Children's Investment Fund Foundation
Michael Anderson

Children Without Worms
David Addiss, Director
Kim Koporc, Director, Program Implementation

DAHW Deutsche Lepra- und Tuberkulosehilfe e.V.

GLRA German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Association
Burkard Kömm, Geschäftsführer/Chief Executive Officer

Evidence Action
Grace Hollister

René Staeheli, Director

Jose Manuel Amorós, Manager

The Fred Hollows Foundation
Brian Doolan, Chief Executive Officer

Heart to Heart Foundation
Yoon Juhee, Director

IMA World Health
Rick Santos, President and Chief Executive Officer

International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness
Peter Ackland. Chief Executive Officer

International Coalition for Trachoma Control
Virginia Sarah, Chair

International Trachoma Initiative
Paul Emerson, Director

Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology International
Paul Courtright

LEPRA Society
Ashim Chowla

Sarah Nancollas, Chief Executive

The Leprosy Mission International
Geoff Warne, General Director

The Leprosy Mission England and Wales
Sian Arulanantham, Head of Programmes Coordination

Light for the World

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Filariasis Program Support Unit
Charles Mackenzie, Director

The Magrabi Foundation
Christina Sanko, Director of Development and Partnerships

Mectizan Donation Program
Adrian Hopkins, Director

Netherlands Leprosy Relief
Jan van Berkel, Director

Andrew Wardle, Program Manager

Organisation pour la Prevention de la Cecite (OPC)
Karim Bengraïne

RTI International
Lisa Rotondo, ENVISION Project Director
NNN Chair

Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation
Etsuko Kita, Chair

Schistosomiasis Control Initiative
Wendy Harrison, Managing Director
NNN Vice-Chair

Secours aux Lépreux - Leprosy Relief Canada
Maryse Legault, Director

Sightsavers International
Caroline Harper, CEO


United Front Against River Blindness
Daniel Shungu, Director

University of Melbourne
Indigenous Eye Health Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
Hugh Taylor, Melbourne Laureate Professor

World Vision International
Mesfin Teklu Tessema, Partnership Leader, Health and Nutrition

Yonsei University College of Medicine
Sangchul Yoon, Ophthalmologist


Damien Foundation
Alex Jaucot, General Director a.i.

Malaria Consortium, Nigeria
Kolawole Maxwell, Country Director

National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research & Development
Mercy N. Ezeunala

National Podoconiosis Action Network
Biruk Kebede

Parasitology and Public Health Society of Nigeria
Ukaga Chinyere