Neglected tropical diseases

Seventh meeting of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Neglected Tropical Diseases

The seventh meeting of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Neglected Tropical Diseases (STAG) took place on 8–9 April 2014 at the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Progress in implementing the WHO roadmap on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and achieving its targets provided the focus of this year’s meeting.

Other important issues discussed were:

  • coverage with preventive chemotherapy against five targeted diseases;
  • implementation of the global strategy for dengue prevention and control;
  • importance of ensuring that NTDs feature in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals;
  • establishment of guiding principles and processes for verifying disease elimination and certifying disease eradication;
  • final stages of dracunculiasis eradication and yaws eradication;
  • progress towards human African trypanosomiasis elimination; and
  • accelerating work to control neglected zoonotic diseases.

STAG recommended that capacity strengthening be prioritized by harmonizing partners’ activities, with focus on a small number of ‘large population countries’ to reduce the implementation deficit at all levels.

In conclusion, STAG acknowledged the outstanding work of the Department and especially its retiring Director, Dr Lorenzo Savioli, who has provided vision, strategic leadership and energy to the international campaign to control and eliminate NTDs from the world.

The STAG is the principal advisory group to WHO for the control of NTDs and reports directly to the Director-General of WHO. Its mandate is to advise WHO on overall global policies and strategies, ranging from monitoring of implementation to delivery and linkages with other health interventions. Its remit is to facilitate and monitor the coverage of control interventions and to provide WHO with high-quality, well considered advice and recommendations on matters described in its terms of reference.