US Congratulates Sierra Leone for Adopting Strategic Sustainable Plan to Combat Neglected Diseases

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

Through the support of Helen Keller International and partners, Sierra Leone, on the 18th May, 2023,  adopted and launched a plan to tackle neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) sustainably, marking a milestone in the country’s efforts to eliminate or control four life-threatening diseases that affect more than 8 million of the country’s poorest and most marginalized people.

On the 19th May, 2023, in a Press Release issued by the U.S. Embassy in Freetown it was stated that the United States Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), congratulated the Government of Sierra Leone for adopting a strategic, sustainable plan designed to aid the country in its fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

This complimentary message was disclosed by the U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone, David Reimer, who commended the achievement stating, “The Government of Sierra Leone has made significant progress to date in fighting neglected tropical diseases. I would like to congratulate the dedication and partnership of everyone engaged in the adoption of this intra-governmental plan. This strategy demonstrates real commitment to ending preventable diseases and the results of this plan will ultimately help make life better for the people of Sierra Leone.”

The newly adopted sustainability plan emphasizes the Government’s key priorities, strategies and benchmarks to ensure high-quality health services are available to persons living with or at-risk of NTDs long-term. The Ministry of Health and Sanitation led the development of the sustainability plan with support from other Government sectors and external stakeholders.

Sierra Leone has made significant progress against NTDs by implementing large-scale treatment programs, monitoring disease and managing chronic morbidities. USAID has provided support in Sierra Leone to help end four of the most common and burdensome NTDs since 2008.

NTDs are a group of parasitic, bacterial and viral diseases that disproportionately affect people in areas with less financial resources for health or limited access to high-quality health services. The diseases are debilitating, stigmatizing, and can cause life-long disability. Many NTDs are also preventable and treatable with safe and effective interventions to control and ultimately eliminate the disease.


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