GHTC delivers statement on NTDs road map at HHS WHA listening session
GHTC delivered the following statement, on the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) agenda item 14.4 Road map for neglected tropical diseases 2021–2030, on May 13, 2022 at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) WHA stakeholder listening session:
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are inextricably linked to poverty and inequality. These diseases exact a heavy toll, causing chronic illness, severe disfigurement, blindness, and death. More than 1.5 billion people are estimated to require interventions against NTDs each year with many existing tools inadequate to effectively screen and treat populations in low-income and low-resource settings. Increased attention in recent years has brought new resources to the fight against NTDs and fueled research breakthroughs. Yet, very significant gaps remain in the arsenal of tools needed to control and eliminate these diseases, underscoring the need for research and development (R&D) of new tools.
Therefore, GHTC calls on the United States to:
- Address the current diagnostic gaps for NTDs. The Diagnostic Technical Advisory Group for Neglected Tropical Diseases recently published several target product profiles, and more guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) will be necessary to spur the development of new diagnostic tools. We urge the United States to work with WHO and member states to explore regulatory and manufacturing pathways to facilitate prequalification and regulatory approval of in-vitro diagnostics.
- We call on the United States to fill key gaps by investing in R&D for new and improved treatments and prevention tools across the scope of NTDs, including therapies designed for children and shorter, simplified regimens with fewer side effects.