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London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases

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The London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases was a collaborative disease eradication programme launched on 30 January 2012 in London. It was inspired by the World Health Organization roadmap to eradicate or prevent transmission for neglected tropical diseases by the year 2020.[1] Officials from WHO, the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's 13 leading pharmaceutical companies, and government representatives from US, UK, United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, Brazil, Mozambique and Tanzania participated in a joint meeting at the Royal College of Physicians to launch this project. The meeting was spearheaded by Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, and Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.[2][3]

This declaration was the largest coordinated effort to date in health issues and it aimed to eliminate or control 10 neglected diseases by 2020 by providing more than US$785 million to support research and development. These diseases are most rampant in the economically deprived regions of the world and affect 1.4 billion people.[4]

Neglected tropical diseases[edit]

The rather ambitious commitment is to eradicate or prevent transmission of Guinea worm disease; eliminate lymphatic filariasis, leprosy, African sleeping sickness and blinding trachoma; and to control schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis, Chagas disease, visceral leishmaniasis and river blindness by 2020.[5]


Initial partners[edit]

The original endorsers with their basic strategies were:[6][7]

  1. Abbott: A US-based global pharmaceutical and health care company works for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all major neglected diseases. It provides innovative technologies, drug compounds and scientific expertise, academic research and health education.
  2. AstraZeneca: A British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biologics company headquartered in London.
  3. Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals: A division of Germany's pharmaceutical company supports the fight against Chagas disease and African sleeping sickness. The company will specifically make their products nifurtimox and suramin, the drugs of choice for the disease respectively, doubly accessible in South America and Africa, where the diseases are prevalent.
  4. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: The foundation has put up a 5-year US$363 million commitment, the largest funding for the project.
  5. Becton Dickinson: An American medical technology company.
  6. Bristol-Myers Squibb: A New York-based pharmaceutical company.
  7. The Children's Investment Fund Foundation: A UK charitable organisation.
  8. Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi): A global research and development organisation with headquarters at Geneva will actively work for development of new drugs (such as oxaborole, fexinidazole) and perform clinical trials.
  9. Eisai: A Japanese pharmaceutical company with headquarters at Tokyo manufacture and supply Diethylcarbamazine (up to 2.2 billion 100 mg tablets) free of charge to WHO to combat lymphatic filariasis.
  10. Gilead Sciences: A biopharmaceutical company in California that discovers, develops and commercializes therapeutics will donate 445,000 vials of its AmBisome over five years (equivalent to $8 million) for treatment of visceral leishmaniasis.
  11. GlaxoSmithKline: A London-based multinational pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare company headquartered will donate 400 million albendazole tablets each year to fight soil-transmitted helminthiasis. Further it will continue to provide 600 million tablets albendazole per year for lymphatic filariasis as long as necessary until the disease is eliminated.
  12. Johnson & Johnson: An American multinational medical and consumer packaged goods manufacturer will work through its collaborative project Children Without Worms in the dissemination of drugs and providing health education. It will extend its existing donation of mebendazole (200 million tablets per year) for soil-transmitted helminthiasis.
  13. Lions Clubs International: A secular service club in Illinois supports blindness prevention through its SightFirst programme to fight blinding trachoma. The SightFirst has allocated over US$11 million in 10 countries for eye surgeries, medical training, distribution of Zithromax and tetracycline, and sanitary services. It has also announced US$6.9 million funding to support the Government of China.
  14. Merck KGaA: A German chemical and pharmaceutical company will continue to donate praziquantel for schistosomiasis indefinitely. It will increase its annual donation from 25 million tablets at present to 250 million tablets (worth US$23 million per year).
  15. Merck Sharp & Dohme, MSD: An American pharmaceutical company will run Mectizan Donation Program to provide ivermectin for river blindness and lymphatic filariasis.
  16. Mundo Sano: An international non-profit organization based in Argentina to fight against Chagas disease and STHs. It contributed US$5 million for project expansion and program enhancement for selected sites in the Americas and Africa.
  17. Novartis: a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company based in Basel will extend its commitment to provide multi-drug therapy (rifampicin, clofazimine and dapsone) to eradicate leprosy.
  18. Pfizer: A New York-based American multinational pharmaceutical corporation will continue its donation of azithromycin for blinding trachoma until at least 2020.
  19. Sanofi: A French multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Paris will extend its existing donation of eflornithine, melarsoprol and pentamidine for treating sleeping sickness.
  20. USAID: The US federal government agency will continue support to over 20 countries and the U.S. Congress had appropriated $89 million to USAID.
  21. World Bank: An international financial institution will implement the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control to completely control river blindness.

Other endorsers[edit]

There were 71 endorsing organisations, including NGOs, academic institutes and companies. As the programme was launched, the governments of Brazil, Tanzania, Bangladesh and Mozambique announced political and financial commitment to the implementation of the programme.[8]

Progress and achievements[edit]

The annual progress reports on the London Declaration are reported by the organisation, Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases. These reports celebrated progress and identified the issues in achieving the aims of the declaration.[9] In 2017, the Uniting to Combat NTDs received the Guinness World Record of "Most medication donated in 24 hours (multiple venues)" for donating 207,169,292 doses of drugs within 24 hours.[10][11]

The programme did not meet complete success, but millions of lives were saved, the burden of the infections was reduced, and 42 countries eliminated at least one disease.[12] An estimated 500 million people became free from treatments against one or more diseases. One of the biggest successes was the control of Guinea worm disease; by 2018, it was eliminated in 19 of 21 countries.[13] As the London Declaration programme ended, only 15 cases were recorded globally.[14] Lymphatic filariasis was eliminated as public health problems in 16 countries, trachoma in 10 countries, and onchocerciasis in four. Annual cases of African trypanosomiasis were reduced from more than 7000 in 2012 to fewer than 1000 in 2018; the number surpassed the projected 2000 cases by 2020. Cases of leprosy has been reduced to 1% in a year.[15]

In 2019, the Government of the United Arab Emirates announced that it will observe 30 January as the World NTD Day. The next year, WHO formally adopted the day to commemorate the launch of both the first NTD road map and the London Declaration.[16][17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Crompton DWT, ed. (2012). Accelerating Work to Overcome the Global Impact of Neglected Tropical Diseases – A Roadmap for Implementation (PDF). Geneva: WHO Press, World Health Organization.
  2. ^ WHO (3 February 2012). "WHO roadmap inspires unprecedented support to defeat neglected tropical diseases". who.int. World Health Organization, Geneva. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  3. ^ The Pharma Letter (31 January 2012). "Research-based pharma pledges on neglected tropical diseases". thepharmaletter.com. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  4. ^ Cohen, Joshua P.; Silva, Lisseth; Cohen, Alisa; Awatin, Josephine; Sturgeon, Robert (2016). "Progress Report on Neglected Tropical Disease Drug Donation Programs". Clinical Therapeutics. 38 (5): 1193–1204. doi:10.1016/j.clinthera.2016.02.031. PMID 27041410.
  5. ^ Mitra, Amal K.; Mawson, Anthony R. (2017-08-05). "Neglected Tropical Diseases: Epidemiology and Global Burden". Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease. 2 (3): 36. doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2030036. ISSN 2414-6366. PMC 6082091. PMID 30270893.
  6. ^ Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (30 January 2012). "Private and Public Partners Unite to Combat 10 Neglected Tropical Diseases by 2020". gatesfoundation.org. Press Room, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Archived from the original on 14 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-30.
  7. ^ Uniting to Combat NTDs (2012). "Endorsements (endorsing organizations)". unitingtocombatntds.org. Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases. Archived from the original on 2013-05-25. Retrieved 2013-05-30.
  8. ^ "Progress in Combating Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs): U.S. and Global Efforts from FY2006 to FY2015". www.everycrsreport.com. 2014-05-28. Retrieved 2022-12-28.
  9. ^ "Progress Reports of the London Declaration". Uniting to Combat NTDs. Retrieved 2022-12-28.
  10. ^ "Uniting to Combat NTDs program tackles infectious diseases with new world record". Guinness World Records. 2017-04-19. Retrieved 2023-01-02.
  11. ^ "Uniting to Combat NTDs programme sets record". BusinessGhana. 2017-04-26. Retrieved 2023-01-02.
  12. ^ The Lancet (2022-01-29). "Neglected tropical diseases: ending the neglect of populations". Lancet. 399 (10323): 411. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00161-1. PMID 35093213.
  13. ^ Hopkins, Donald R.; Ruiz-Tiben, Ernesto; Eberhard, Mark L.; Weiss, Adam; Withers, P. Craig; Roy, Sharon L.; Sienko, Dean G. (2018). "Dracunculiasis Eradication: Are We There Yet?". The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 99 (2): 388–395. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.18-0204. ISSN 1476-1645. PMC 6090361. PMID 29869608.
  14. ^ Burki, Talha (2022-07-02). "New declaration on neglected tropical diseases endorsed". Lancet. 400 (10345): 15. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(22)01237-5. PMID 35780782. S2CID 250150750.
  15. ^ Malecela, Mwelecele N.; Ducker, Camilla (2021-01-28). "A road map for neglected tropical diseases 2021-2030". Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 115 (2): 121–123. doi:10.1093/trstmh/trab002. ISSN 1878-3503. PMC 7842088. PMID 33508095.
  16. ^ Hotez, Peter J.; Aksoy, Serap; Brindley, Paul J.; Kamhawi, Shaden (2020). "World neglected tropical diseases day". PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 14 (1): e0007999. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0007999. ISSN 1935-2735. PMC 6988912. PMID 31995572.
  17. ^ Elphick-Pooley, Thoko; Engels, Dirk; Uniting to Combat NTDs (2022-01-28). "World NTD Day 2022 and a new Kigali Declaration to galvanise commitment to end neglected tropical diseases". Infectious Diseases of Poverty. 11 (1): 2. doi:10.1186/s40249-021-00932-2. PMC 8794616. PMID 35086566.

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