WHO calls for strengthened disease advocacy

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The World Health Organisation (WHO)  has called on African countries to strengthen the advocacy system in order to combat escalating tropical diseases.

The call has been made by WHO Officer for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Adiele Onyeze  at the on-going workshop on NTD master plans in Lusaka.

ZANIS reports that Dr Onyeze charged that strong advocacy, national ownership and heightened  coordination among African States were vital in eliminating tropical diseases on the continent.

He further said there is an urgent need to scale up interventions, strengthen health systems and programme capacity in health education, water and sanitation and environmental education.

A total of 184 health experts from across Africa have convened in Lusaka for a five day regional workshop to develop an Integrated Planning and Costing of Master Plans for Neglected Tropical Disease for 2015-2020.

And Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases Representative Wangechi Thuo called for an enhanced planning for resource mobilization and financial sustainability of NTD programmes in Africa.

Ms Wangechi also called for  political will from African leaders in order to see an increased financial allocation to NTD programmes, monitoring and control.

In May 2013 the World Health Assembly endorsed a resolution to eliminate targeted neglected tropical diseases by the year 2010.

A total of 36 countries in Africa including Zambia have already launched the implementation of the NTD master plans.