Ahead of the World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day which is celebrated on January 30, the government of Rwanda has launched a new Kigali Declaration to strengthen its commitment to ending neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The Kigali Declaration on NTDs will be the successor to the ground-breaking London Declaration on NTDs that was launched in 2012 and expired in 2020, it will aim to protect the gains that have been made, whilst accelerating domestic financing, and encouraging global sustained and renewed commitments to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets related to NTDs. The Declaration was officially launched by the Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente on Thursday January 27 during a virtual event. “Rwanda commits to enhancing collaboration with different actors to respond to the NTD burden, and to eliminate NTDs as a public health problem by 2030,” he said. NTDs are a group of 20 diseases that include blinding trachoma, intestinal worms and elephantiasis which are preventable and treatable, and affect 1.7 billion people around the world with Africa being the most affected part of the globe with almost 40% of the global NTD burden. In Rwanda we are similarly affected by common NTDs, the Premier said, adding that the Covid-19 pandemic has shown the critical importance of investing in strong primary healthcare systems. “These can both respond to endemic diseases, including NTDs, and make the world more resilient to pandemics” he added. The Premier added that there is need for binding commitments and endorsements for the Kigali Declaration on NTDs to ensure that the next generation is free from their negative effects, which can be achievable by effectively implementing a roadmap that will guide actions for the next decade. “More commitments and endorsements will be unveiled during the Malaria/NTD Summit in Kigali, on the margins of CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) to be held later this year,” he said. The kick-off of the Declaration was supported by other Heads of Government that included the President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari, President of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan and Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, James Marape.