SCI Foundation is now Unlimit Health. Learn more about what the change means for our ongoing efforts to eliminate neglected tropical diseases

SCI Foundation pledges continued commitment to elimination of neglected tropical diseases

20 June 2022

Nurses crosscheck records to make sure the correct codes have been assigned to individuals taking part in the parameter validation survey, one of the many surveys that SCI Foundation supports. Credit: SCI Foundation/I. Getachew

On 23 June, global leaders, ministers of health, health experts, funders and civil society partners will meet in Kigali, Rwanda, to renew the global commitment to the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) first marked in London in 2012.

This Summit on Malaria and NTDs marks a significant shift in the global approach to tackling NTDs – the Kigali Declaration, developed and endorsed by the NTD community as a whole, represents a new movement for efforts that put endemic countries at the driving seat, and put in place the commitments needed to deliver the 2021-2030 NTD road map issued last year by the World Health Organization.

SCI Foundation lends its support to this effort, by endorsing the Kigali Declaration and by making commitments in support of its delivery.

SCI Foundation’s Kigali Declaration commitments

These include a financial commitment of $10m USD between 2022-2028 to support treatment against parasitic infections: schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis, as well as associated monitoring and evaluation activities. This commitment will be delivered in a number of sub-Saharan African countries, based on their needs and strategies and in response to demand. Additionally, SCI Foundation will continue to emphasise and enhance our role as an effective partner in delivering technical assistance. This technical work will include:

  • Supporting the development and implementation of a One Health approach to parasitic infection elimination, including enhanced cross-sectoral coordination with water and sanitation, education, agriculture, environment and veterinary public health actors, among others. This technical assistance will encompass the strengthening of systems, planning processes, and financing.
  • Elaborating mechanisms for integrating interventions for NTD-associated morbidities into healthcare services, such as embedding diagnosis and treatment of female genital schistosomiasis within reproductive health and HIV/AIDS services; ensuring access to treatment of schistosomiasis in pre-school aged children through appropriate child health and nutrition services; and exploring delivery mechanisms for other morbidity interventions, such as for neurocysticercosis.
  • Contributing to health systems strengthening by enhancing functions across all health systems building blocks, with particular emphasis on monitoring and evaluation.

SCI Foundation supports neglected tropical disease programmes in sub-Saharan Africa. Here Etalem Shibiru (left) and Dawit Samuel set up their mobile laboratory in a remote location in Ethiopia. SCIF supports the Ministry of Health, Ethiopia to conduct surveys that look at prevalence of disease. In this mobile lab, they analyse stool samples to look at the prevalence of schistosomiasis in Bench Maji Zone, SNNPR, Ethiopia. Credit: SCI Foundation/I. Getachew

Wendy Harrison, CEO of SCI Foundation, said: “This commitment is important to us as an organisation that has always believed in country ownership as a guiding principle. It is rooted in our prior experience of working in Rwanda.  We went from channelling support initially through external partners to working directly with the Ministry of Health. The government of Rwanda’s recent announcement of its commitment to fund NTDs using its own domestic budget, provides a shining example of the efforts needed to fulfil the ambitions of the NTD road map.”