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Neglected tropical diseases get attention

The John A. Kufuor Foundation and Speak Up Africa, a policy and advocacy action think tank, have entered into a partnership to support initiatives to eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and promote access to adequate sanitation for all.

NTDs affect more than 1.5 billion people annually, causing death, blindness, disfigurement, chronic pain, cognitive impairment and other long-term disabilities that create long term obstacles to development. About 39 per cent of those affected live in Africa.

Furthermore, one in three people in Africa still live without adequate sanitation facilities. In West Africa, this number reaches 75 per cent of the population, and puts a considerable burden on health and economic development.

Apart from working on NTDs, a statement made available to ghanabusinessnews.com said the two organisations are also partnering to promote effective leadership as the catalyst for good governance and socio-economic development through advocacy, programmatic interventions and strategic partnerships with likeminded organizations and institutions.

Through his foundation, the former Ghanaian President, John Kufuor, continues his ongoing efforts to ensure that every man, woman and child is empowered to live a long and healthy life.

According to the statement, they are working together to communicate shared messages on key issues relating to NTDs and sanitation.

This includes Speak Up Africa’s ‘No to Neglected Tropical Diseases’ campaign which brings individuals, political leaders, private sector companies and civil society organizations together to increase awareness, prioritization and national commitment to control and eliminate NTDs in Africa.

Following Ghana’s success in eliminating trachoma as a public health problem, Speak Up Africa says it will support the John A. Kufuor Foundation to extend its expertise to the wider continent, leveraging further investment for trachoma and other NTD control and elimination programmes in sub-Saharan Africa.

Through this collaboration with such an esteemed political leader, Speak Up Africa will contribute to moving the continent closer to reaching the key SDGs, it added.

Ms.Yacine Djibo, Founder and CEO of Speak Up Africa, said: “When it comes to influencing policy change, we know we are stronger when we work with our partners. We are delighted to be working with the John A. Kufuor Foundation, a dedicated organisation that reflects our values and ambitions. With a common goal to influence decision making and policy change relating to NTD’s and sanitation, the John A. Kufuor Foundation’s activities align closely to our own mission here at Speak Up Africa. This partnership offers a wonderful opportunity for us to complement each other’s advocacy efforts, and we look forward to a fruitful partnership.”

Prof. Baffour Agyeman-Duah, CEO of the John A. Kufuor Foundation, adds: “We are delighted to be working alongside Speak Up Africa to support its campaigns and further advocate for peaceful, well-governed and economically sustainable societies in Ghana and Africa. NTD control and elimination is now within sight – by joining forces with Speak Up Africa, we can accelerate progress towards this major milestone in Africa’s history.”

By Eunice Menka

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