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Report of the first WHO global meeting on skin-related neglected tropical diseases: Geneva, Switzerland, 27–31 March 2023


The World Health Organization (WHO) held its inaugural global meeting on skin-related neglected tropical diseases (skin NTDs) on 27–31 March 2023, convening more than 800 global experts, stakeholders and partners. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the progress and challenges of integrating control and management of skin NTDs at the country level, in alignment with the NTD road map 2021–2030 (“the road map”) and the companion road map document on skin NTDs (“the skin NTD framework”).

Skin diseases rank among the top reasons for outpatient visits and often lead to long-term disability, stigmatization and mental health issue and half of the 20 NTDs present with skin manifestations.

The objectives of the meeting were centred on sharing experiences in country-level integration, showcasing research advances, implementation of the skin NTD framework and strengthening networking among experts. Participants included skin NTD specialists, representatives of health ministries, nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions and WHO. Key messages highlighted the importance of the NTD road map, emphasizing three implementation pillars: accelerating programmatic action, intensifying cross-cutting approaches, and changing operational models and culture to support country ownership.

Key actions arising from the meeting were to enhance advocacy and visibility of NTDs, their inclusion into critical global policy documentation and in global health mechanisms. The global community was urged to increase NTD investments to meet the road map targets for 2030, emphasizing digital technologies, enhanced diagnostics and advances in new treatments.

The second global skin NTD meeting is scheduled for 24-26 March 2025 at WHO headquarters in Geneva. The path forward is clear: we must strengthen collaborations and amplify efforts towards the 2030 NTD road map targets.

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