116-Year-Old Organization Renews Commitment to Fight Neglected Tropical Diseases by Signing Kigali Declaration

June 21, 2022

(Greenville, S.C., June 21, 2022) American Leprosy Missions is a signatory to the Kigali Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), a new global health commitment that will be celebrated during the Kigali Summit on Malaria and NTDs

NTDs affect more than one billion of the world’s most vulnerable people and can lead to increased poverty, stigma and isolation, malnutrition, and lifelong disabilities. A decade after the London Declaration on NTDs, this year’s Kigali Summit and Declaration represent the global community’s renewed resolve to end malaria and NTDs. The Kigali Declaration includes specific, measurable commitments from governments, NGOs, and other actors to work toward the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Road Map for NTDs 2021−2030.

“The main value in an event like the Kigali Summit,” says Stefanie Weiland, Executive Vice President of Programs, “is getting governments to make commitments and think long-term, and to acknowledge contributions by non-government entities. A global consensus unifies our voices and makes us feel we’re part of a bigger effort.”

ALM’s Board of Directors and U.S. staff members celebrating the Declaration signing in May 2022.

Commitments from ALM and dozens of other organizations will be highlighted during the Summit. ALM’s commitment areas are: 

  • Leprosy research, including testing the first leprosy-specific vaccine, LepVax, and exploring new ways to diagnose leprosy and detect drug resistance ;  
  • NTD integration into health systems through data mapping and management, health worker training, and system strengthening;
  • Supporting partners to deliver early care and equip people affected to live whole lives.

“The approaches and tools that brought us to this point are not sufficient to meet WHO Road Map goals and end NTDs,” states Bill Simmons, President and CEO.  “That is why renewed commitments at Kigali are important, and why we at ALM continue to develop and invest in innovative solutions to help create a world free of these terrible diseases.”

The Summit will be held in Kigali, Rwanda on June 23, 2022, alongside the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Government officials, scientific experts, community champions, NGOs, and philanthropists are among those attending.

About American Leprosy Missions

American Leprosy Missions is the oldest and largest Christian organization in the United States dedicated to breaking down barriers to health and restoring hope for people suffering from the pain and stigma of neglected tropical diseases like leprosy. It currently supports projects, programs and partners in more than 25 countries in Africa, Asia and South America. Since its founding in 1906, American Leprosy Missions has provided holistic healing to more than four million people around the world including medical treatment, health worker training, disease mapping, community development, health system strengthening and research.

For Additional Information

Sarah Hesshaus

Vice President of Business Process and Communications

[email protected]