Ten national NTD programs gathered in Accra, Ghana April 21-23, 2015 as part of the END in Africa and ENVISION Joint Meeting for Elimination Planning. Sponsored by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the meeting had three main objectives: 1) Bring NTD Program Managers together to share their progress towards elimination and identify priority actions for the coming year, 2) Share the latest in WHO guidelines elimination of lymphatic filariasis, trachoma and onchocerciasis, and 3) Discuss strategies for addressing areas of persistent high prevalence, whether these be “hotspots” or areas of cross border transmission.
Invitees included NTD Program Managers from Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Haiti, Mali, Niger, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Uganda. Additionally, field staff from both the ENVISION and END in Africa projects were in attendance, as well as NTD technical staff from USAID, RTI, FHI360 and partners.
The meeting provided an important forum to discuss next steps for entering disease surveillance and applying for validation of elimination, both of which are now within reach for many of these countries. “The meeting was a great success, both in celebrating the progress made thus far, and continuing conversations with Ministries of Health on the challenges they face and how we can best support them as we take the next step toward the end game of eliminating LF, trachoma, and onchocerciasis” said Lisa Rotondo, ENVISION Project Director.
Participants at the END in Africa and ENVISION Joint Meeting on Elimination Planning