THE UNTOLD STORY: BEATING 10 DISEASES, IMPROVING 1 BILLION LIVES Celebrating the 5th anniversary of the London Declaration on NTDs


2017 marks the 5th anniversary year of the momentous occasion when diverse organisations and global partners came together to improve the lives of over 1 billion people on the planet.

On 30 January 2012, pharmaceutical companies, donors, endemic countries and non-government organisations came together to sign the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases. Together, they commited to control, eliminate or eradicate 10 diseases by 2020.

Neglected tropical diseases are a group of preventable and treatable diseases that affect over 1 billion people. These diseases impact the poorest communities in the world. They disfigure and disable, keep children out of school and parents out of work - limiting their potential.

Watch this video to learn about the London Declaration.


“We should all work together to fight against neglected tropical diseases ... and to give people a better life.” - Amarech Hobicho Health extension worker, Ethiopia


5 years later, 5 years closer

Over the past 5 years, we have made tremendous progress towards the goals of the London Declaration. Here are just a few examples:

Children at Be PA De Zouza school in Lomé receive Albendazole tablets to control soil-transmitted helminths (STH) (intestinal worms). The nationwide deworming programme is a Togo Health Service initiative supported by GSK


We are reaching close to 1 billion people

Preventive chemotherapy helps prevent lymphatic filariasis, soil transmitted helminths, schistosomiasis, river blindness and trachoma. We are reaching more people than ever before with these programs - covering over 60% of all those in need.


A drug donation program on a truly global scale

Our pharmaceutical partners from across the world have contributed billions of drugs since the signing of the London Declaration. These contributions have led to an increase in treatments to prevent and treat NTDs year after year since 2012.

In 2015, there were 1.5 billion treatments - that’s around 50 treatments every second!


Progress, year after year

Since 2013, one country from the Americas per year has eliminated onchocerciasis (river blindness). Only a small region in the hard to reach Yanomami community between Brazil and Venezuela remains, in order to achieve total elimination in the Americas.

Elimination in 2013
Elimination in 2014
Elimination in 2015
Elimination in 2016

Nearing the end of guinea worm disease

With great dedication from partners, cases of guinea worm disease have reduced significantly over the years. Mali reported 0 cases of guinea worm disease in 2016 for the first time. Now, only 3 countries are reporting human cases of the disease. While it is more challenging to defeat the final cases of a diseases, we will work hard to ensure no one is left behind.

3,500,000cases in 1985

130,000cases in 2000

25cases in 2016


Gathering better data to become more effective

Better mapping tools have improved our ability to target neglected tropical diseases and reach those who need it most.

Two mapping initiatives are providing critical data for reaching communities that require treatment and for achieving the NTD roadmap goals: the Global Trachoma Mapping Project (GTMP) and the WHO Regional Office for Africa project ‘Shrinking the Map on NTDs in Africa’.

Without these initiatives and accurate mapping data, we would be unable to target treatments effectively and efficiently. These systems help us accurately determine who is at risk of these diseases, who is not, and where they live.


Monitoring our progress, every year

From the beginning, we have released an annual report on the London Declaration. These reports celebrate our progress and identify the issues we need to solve to achieve the aims of the declaration.


“Leave no one behind - that's what fighting neglected tropical diseases is all about.” - Magda Robalo Director of Communicable Diseases Cluster, WHO Regional Office for Africa



We have the tools, the drugs, and the data to tackle neglected tropical diseases. Now, more than ever, we need to continue investing in the control, elimination and eradication of these diseases.

Join us on this journey to improve the lives of over 1 billion people and fight against neglected tropical diseases

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Photography Credits:
Header image: GSK/Marcus Perkins, Bill Gates background: GSK/Marcus Perkins, Monitoring our progress image: RTI/LouiseGubb, Monitoring our progress image: GSK/Marcus Perkins, Gathering better data background: Sightsavers/Tom Saater, Gathering better data first image: Dominic Nahr/Magnum/Sightsavers, Gathering better data second image: Sightsavers/Tom Saater, Reaching more people first image: Sightsavers/Tom Saater, Reaching more people second image: GSK/Marcus Perkins, Reaching more people third image: GSK/Marcus Perkins, Julie Jacobson background: GSK/MarcusPerkins, Guinea worm first, second and third images: The Carter Center/L. Gubb, Magda Robalo background: The Carter Center/L.Gubb