Togo has been acknowledged by the World Health Organization as being the first nation worldwide to eradicate four neglected tropical diseases.
The WHO announced this at its meeting of the Regional Committee for Africa on August 22 in Lomé.
Dracunculiasis (Guinea worm disease), elephantiasis (lymphatic filariasis), human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), and trachoma have all been successfully eradicated in Togo between 2011 and 2022.
Despite the fact that there are 20 diseases known as NTDs that can be prevented and treated, 1.7 billion individuals worldwide still need NTD therapies. Many NTDs render adults and children unable to work, crippling, disfiguring, and disabling them by prohibiting them from attending school.
In a statement from the Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases, Associate Consultant Kingsley Ochieng stated that Togo was the first nation recognized by the WHO as having won its battle against four NTDs, and that it did so in under eleven years.
Guinea worm disease transmission was previously halted in Togo in 2011. It was the first nation in sub-Saharan Africa to eradicate elephantiasis as a public health issue in 2017 and the continent’s first to do the same with sleeping sickness in 2020.
“Togo implemented a two-pronged approach to eliminate these diseases that concentrated on first, interrupting transmission and avoiding new infections; and secondly, treating or managing diseases, their associated morbidity, and their sequelae, to alleviate suffering,” it reads.
“I appreciate you for your praise of my country’s achievements in the eradication of neglected tropical illnesses,” stated the president of Togo, Faure Gbassingbe. The devotion and commitment of all health actors working in our nation at all levels to protect this priceless good known as health has made this accomplishment possible. We have prioritized health and made it a key component of our development strategies. To ensure that everyone has access to basic services and health care is one of the goals of the government’s roadmap to 2025.
“The elimination of dracunculiasis, lymphatic filariasis, human African trypanosomiasis and trachoma is an exceptional achievement and a gift not only for the people of Togo today but for decades to come,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Meanwhile Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases on twitter has congratulate Togolese in there new feet: “Togo receives outstanding achievement award as the first ever country globally to eliminate 4 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) at @WHO Regional Committee for Africa Meeting in Lomé.”
NEWS: Togo receives outstanding achievement award as the first ever country globally to eliminate 4 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) at @WHO Regional Committee for Africa Meeting in Lomé.
Find more here: https://t.co/QbMsymyE19#BeatNTDs #100percentCommitted pic.twitter.com/eHfIKNUxDh
— Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases (@CombatNTDs) August 22, 2022