Imperial College London

The World Health Organisation launches ESPEN


Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa

The Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN) formally launches on 23 May at the annual World Health Assembly

Efforts to control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) from the African Region are gaining momentum. Ministers of Health across the Region have agreed on the establishment of the Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN). The initiative is expected to eliminate Onchocerciasis/river blindness, lymphatic filariasis/elephantiasis, trachoma, schistosomiasis/bilharzia and soil-transmitted helminths/intestinal worms through the use of preventive chemotherapy.

ESPEN is a project hosted and managed by the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa (AFRO) to reduce the burden of the five most prevalent neglected tropical diseases on the African continent. You can view the webpage for ESPEN for further information.

ESPEN will provide technical and fundraising support to endemic countries to help control and eliminate the five NTDs that are responsive to preventive chemotherapy. These diseases are lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, schistosomiasis, soil transmitted helminthiasis and onchocerciasis. The project, which will run from 2016 to 2020, will help countries fill technical and financial gaps in national NTD projects and identify priority areas to tackle these diseases. 


Mrs Alexandra Grainger

Mrs Alexandra Grainger
School of Public Health

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