Thanks to its health workforce and leadership, Togo became the first country to eradicate four destructive neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), giving hope to many countries currently facing their own public health crisis.
The elimination of dracunculiasis, lymphatic filariasis, human African trypanosomiasis, and trachoma constitutes “a gift not only for the people of Togo today, but for generations to come,” expresses Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General.
During the 72nd Session of the WHO Regional Committee in Africa, held in Lomé, Togo, President Faure Gnassingbé received an outstanding achievement award on behalf of his country’s extended health workforce. Some 20 diseases are commonly referred to as NTDs – mainly due to parasitic worms, infected insects, or inadequate access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene – and are considered diseases of extreme poverty. The West African country is proof that the eradication of NTDs is possible, and the pursuit of such elimination needs to remain steady.