On September 21, 2023, at the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the Government of Canada announced $(CAN)15 million to eliminate trachoma as a public health problem in the Americas as part of its aim to accelerate progress and support ambitious international action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This significant investment by Canada, in partnership with PAHO (Pan-American Health Organization) is the first financial commitment made by Canada following its endorsement of the Kigali Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) on June 23rd, 2022, and is expected to result in better health for Indigenous and other populations in the Americas who are most at risk of contracting trachoma, a preventable neglected tropical disease that’s known to be the leading cause of infectious blindness globally.
Through this initiative, over 5.6 million people will be free from the risk of vision loss due to trachoma, and a further 4 million people will receive the support needed to prevent trachoma infection in the future.
This landmark investment is hoped to ignite further global investment in NTDs in Canada and elsewhere to finance the realisation of the WHO NTD Roadmap goals:
- Reducing the need for NTD treatment by 90%;
- Reducing NTD related DALYs by 75%;
- Eradicating at least 2 NTDs (Guinea Worm and Yaws Disease);
- Eliminating at least 1 NTD in 100 countries.
The Canadian Network for NTDs represents 230 individual members in Canada and globally, and 13 organizational members. For the past five years, the Canadian Network for NTDs, with the support of Uniting to Combat NTDs, has advocated for greater Canadian investment and contributions towards the prevention and treatment of NTDs globally.
Please see the pre-budget written submission ahead of the 2024 federal budget to learn more about the many ways in which Canada can continue to invest in NTDs over the coming year, to support the right to health for all and end the neglect of NTDs.
Please read the press release on Canada’s Investment in Eliminating Trachoma in the Americas as well as a press release from PAHO, PAHO and Canada join efforts to eliminate trachoma in Latin America and the Caribbean, to learn more.