GLIDE Statement on the launch of Malawi's NTD Master Plan

Harnessing Partnerships to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)


30 January 2024 – Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) continue to afflict billions of people worldwide and are far too often left off national and global plans for health, despite the burden of morbidity and mortality they cause. NTDs are now, with the addition of Noma to the list last December, a group of 21 conditions that, despite having many of the tools needed to prevent, control, and treat them, remain a challenge for 1.6 billion people.

Today, on World NTD Day, we are honored to join partners at the Malawi Ministry of Health to celebrate the launch of the Malawi NTD Master Plan, which is an important tool to help ensure initiatives for NTDs such as onchocerciasis are supported by comprehensive plans with established and agreed objectives and strategies to accelerate progress towards achieving the targets set in the WHO NTD Roadmap and the Sustainable Development Goals.

GLIDE – the Global Institute for Disease Elimination – is a global health institute based in Abu Dhabi that was launched in 2019. Since its inception, GLIDE has been privileged to partner with the Malawi Ministry of Health and other stakeholders to accelerate progress towards achieving river blindness targets by supporting transmission assessments, working through the DISSECT program – led by Sightsavers – to advance cross-border collaboration, participating in the National Onchocerciasis Elimination committee, and working with the University of York on the Thanzi Labwino program.

Our work also complements efforts by Reaching the Last Mile, an initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, who carries on the legacy of philanthropy started by his father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. We hope to continue building upon this legacy and globalize global health by strengthening ties between the UAE, region, and partners in Malawi.

Looking ahead, we hope to continue to work in close partnership with all stakeholders involved to support ongoing disease elimination efforts and consider expansion of the technical work by embarking on advocacy for budget projects to ensure that the objectives agreed in the NTD Master Plan are supported by clear budget lines and the economic case for investment.

We congratulate all partners and especially the Malawi Ministry of Health for the launch of their NTD Master Plan on World NTD Day. Together, we can unite, act, and eliminate NTDs.