The Sustainable Development Goals' promise is essential in the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), which reinforce a cycle of chronic misery, ill health and stigmatisation for the world’s poorest and most marginalised populations.

"An unparalleled opportunity to put an end to the scourge of neglected tropical diseases."

We are making impressive progress- more people than ever are being reached with treatments. The UK has long been a global champion of efforts to combat NTDs, recognising them as a ‘best buy’ in health. Now, with the SDGs and the World Health Organization’s NTD Roadmap, the inherent link between NTDs and other essential services, including water, sanitation and hygiene is well recognised. Universal Health Coverage, which aims to give everyone access to quality, healthcare without financial hardship, is vital to improving these services and working towards control and elimination of NTDs. It requires investment in workers and infrastructure, and relies on governments in endemic countries to increasingly take ownership of health programmes.

Goal 3 (on ‘healthy lives’) in the SDGs includes a dedicated NTD target and indicator, to track who is being reached by NTD interventions. This gives us an unparalleled opportunity to put an end to the scourge of neglected tropical diseases.