On this International Youth Day, we celebrate the power of the youth as critical agents of social change at the community, village or national and global levels. We recognize the role that young people play in creating conversations and engaging with the public to take action on unequal opportunities that are rampant mostly among marginalized populations.
Youth Combating NTDs is a global community of young people fighting to end neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). This youth-led initiative is designed to mainstream the participation of young people in NTDs and is an example of how young people can be agents of change and contribute to tangible solutions.
Neglected Tropical Diseases, a group of 20 diseases prioritized by the World Health Organization affect 1.7 billion people. They include intestinal worms, bilharzia (schistosomiasis or snail fever), lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, river blindness, sleeping sickness, snakebite and many others. Globally, these diseases limit the potential of 1 billion young people as they impact their educational, economic, and social outcomes. NTDs cause immeasurable suffering and they affect the most marginalized and vulnerable communities, perpetuating a vicious cycle of poverty.
Young people are already taking action. They are taking charge against these diseases of poverty to create an NTD-free generation. As partners of Uniting to Combat NTDs, we stand with this global community of young people that are stepping up to end neglected tropical diseases during their lifetime. We call on national and global stakeholders to create opportunities for youth to have a seat at the decision-making table so that their voices to end NTDs are amplified. As we envision a world that is free of NTDs, we affirm that youth involvement in NTD efforts is critical in creating a better and more equitable future. The power of youth as a collective force must be leveraged so that they can create innovative solutions and shape policies geared towards ending these diseases.
USAID’s Act to End NTDs | West Program, Speak Up Africa, The Access Challenge, Uniting to Combat NTDs, Mectizan Donation Program, FIND, Global Water 2020, SCI Foundation, The END Fund, FHI 360, American Leprosy Missions, Sightsavers, Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (RSTMH), Neglected Tropical Disease NGO Network (NNN), International Coalition for Trachoma Control (ICTC), The International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ISNTD).
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of the Communications Working Group – Uniting to Combat NTDs.