HomeUAEUAE signs Kigali Declaration to eliminate neglected tropical diseases

UAE signs Kigali Declaration to eliminate neglected tropical diseases


ABU DHABI, 24 June – The UAE has signed the Kigali Declaration, a campaign to eliminate neglected tropical diseases.

The declaration aims to mobilise political will and secure commitments to achieve the third UN Sustainable Development Goal target of ending communicable diseases.

“In line with our long-standing commitment to helping those in need, the UAE has signed the Kigali Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases,” UAE President Sheikh Mohamed wrote on Twitter.

“We will continue to collaborate with international partners in pursuing innovative strategies to accelerate disease eradication efforts.”

Sheikh Mohamed has long shown a commitment to the eradication of tropical diseases.

In the fight against neglected tropical diseases, such as guinea worm disease, a parasitic infection that mostly affects poor communities in Africa, Sheikh Mohamed has supported advocacy efforts and provided generous financial assistance over the years.

One of Sheikh Mohamed’s biggest contributions to combating tropical diseases was the setting up of the Reaching the Last Mile Fund in 2017.

The decade-long $100m initiative seeks to eliminate river blindness and lymphatic filariasis in a number of African countries.

At the beginning of 2021, Sheikh Mohamed pledged to give $10 million to the Carter Centre, an organisation founded by Jimmy Carter, the former US president, that fights tropical illnesses.

Since 2010, the UAE has donated more than $250m to the fight against preventable tropical diseases such as Guinea worm.

A UAE-backed breakthrough has also offered hope for leukaemia and epilepsy sufferers, it was announced on Wednesday.

Researchers based at the UAE-backed Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children in London have shared how advances in gene-editing are offering hope to leukaemia patients.

Pioneering work at the centre also includes advances in early genetic analysis that is making a “big difference” in outcomes for epilepsy sufferers.

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affect more than 1.7 billion people, often those who live in extreme poverty, in remote communities and who lack access to basic amenities such as clean water.

It includes leprosy, Chagas disease, intestinal worms, the dengue and chikungunya viruses, guinea worm disease, scabies, trachoma and schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis, yaws, river blindness and sleeping sickness.

Efforts to treat and prevent the pathogens that cause the diseases cost developing economies billions of dollars every year.

NTDs are responsible for thousands of preventable deaths each year and play a big role in perpetuating the cycle of poverty by keeping millions of adults and children out of work and school, respectively. — The National News


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