SCI Foundation is now Unlimit Health. Learn more about what the change means for our ongoing efforts to eliminate neglected tropical diseases
On 1 January this year, SCI Foundation published its New Year’s resolutions. Together with giving a schisto – mobilising support and resources to beat NTDs (neglected tropical diseases) – and being schisto hot – delivering on our values of equality, transparency and inclusion – we also resolved to get schisto done, by supporting the delivery of the World Health Organization’s NTD road map 2030 goals. It’s time for us to start fulfilling our resolutions.
For SCI Foundation, getting schisto done – working to prevent and tackle NTDs – means so much more than our own actions. It means working as part of a community of countries, funders and other organisations towards a common goal. This goal has now been articulated by the 2021-2030 WHO road map.
Child receiving praziquantel during a deworming campaign in Côte d’Ivoire in November 2020. © SCI Foundation/Yao Armel Kouassi
The road map requires all of us working on NTDs to do things differently. The change is articulated in the document as three paradigm shifts:
SCI Foundation is already working to implement these shifts through our own organisational strategy, through our focus on monitoring and evidence, our commitment to cross-sectoral collaboration and our alignment with and support to national programmes. It is now crucial that we demonstrate how our work will support the delivery of the road map pillars.
Supporting the delivery of treatment against parasitic worms is fundamental to our work. Alongside this, we will continue to enhance our monitoring and evaluation work to assess impact and inform programming, invest in developing our own and our partners’ technical expertise, work to increase access to treatment of all at risk populations, and contribute to the development of strategies and best practices across the NTD community.
Prevention of infection is crucial to meeting the ambitious elimination targets set out by the road map, and we have already begun to expand our support to cross sectoral collaboration, particularly on water and sanitation and behaviour change.
We are also working to expand our focus to collaborating with the veterinary public health sector as part of a One Health approach to disease control and elimination in recognition that over 50% of NTDs have other species involved in their transmission.
The principle of health systems strengthening underpins everything we do, and we will continue to align with the plans and strategies of Ministry of Health partners and contribute to capacity building and strengthening of systems and processes.
The programmes we contribute to are country owned and led, aligned to national strategic plans and Ministry of Health goals and objectives. Rather than undertaking direct implementation and setting up country offices, we will continue to work in partnership with national governments, providing technical and financial support.
We strongly believe that implementing the actions set out in the road map will deliver accelerated progress in the fight against NTDs and support the broader 2030 development agenda.
Real change is possible within the next decade, and we are committed to playing our part.