The Kigali Summit on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
On Thursday 23 June, on the side-lines of the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda, the Kigali Summit on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) summoned endemic and donor country leaders, including presidents, community and business leaders, and philanthropists, to galvanize action to end these diseases.
Hosted by His Excellency President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and co-convened by The RBM Partnership to End Malaria and Uniting to Combat NTDs, the Summit was a landmark moment that bore the renewal of high-level commitments to end malaria and NTDs, which totalled over US$4.5 billion.
In response to the urgent threat of a resurgence in malaria and NTDs made worse by a plateauing of funding, biological challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic, following many years of progress, endemic countries delivered robust pledges at the Summit to demonstrate leadership and action to accelerate progress towards eliminating these diseases by 2030 and galvanise political will.
The Summit was also a critical moment to highlight how investments in fighting these diseases have a much broader impact. Platforms built by malaria and NTD programmes have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 response. Increased investments against these diseases will advance equity by further strengthening health systems and helping protect against future pandemics.
Throughout the day, high-level speeches, commitments, engaging content, and thought-provoking discussions highlighted the action needed to end malaria and NTDs once and for all, with a focus on integration, innovation and new tools, financing, and regional coordination. The Summit also featured performances from world-renowned artists of music, dance, and literature.
Quotes from our Board members that were present at the Summit:
Professor Maha Taysir Barakat, Board Chair:
“The momentum, tools and initiatives we have developed over the past two decades have set the stage for us to drive a rapid decline in deaths from malaria. However, progress will only be possible with robust global leadership; the Kigali Summit is a critical opportunity for leaders to make robust commitments, and ultimately save lives.”
Dr Marijke Wijnroks, Board Vice Chair:
“Despite significant progress, malaria continues to thrive in areas of poverty. The Kigali Summit presents a crucial opportunity to accelerate financial and political action against malaria ahead of this year’s Global Fund Replenishment, and achieve a more equal world for all.”
Sherwin Charles, Board Member:
“Africa is home to some of the highest malaria-burdened communities in the world. Today, the malaria community calls on world leaders to renew their commitments at the Kigali Summit to save millions more people in Africa and beyond from this preventable and treatable disease.”
Dr Lola Dare, Board Member:
“The response to COVID-19 has underlined the critical importance of investing in strong public health systems to build global resilience against pandemics and other health threats. Only by working together can we truly unlock the potential of countries to build a healthier, safer and stronger world.”
Dr David Reddy, Board Member:
“The development of new malaria medicines has been key to saving lives from malaria, however ongoing innovation is critical to stay a step ahead of the rapidly evolving parasite. It’s now more important than ever that global leaders prioritise investment in innovation and reinforce their commitments to end malaria.”
The Kigali Summit
June 23rd 2022
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