Light Up the World for Neglected Tropical Diseases Day

January 2021

January 30 2021 will mark the second annual World NTD Day, highlighting the global commitment to ending Neglected Tropical Diseases. On World NTD day 50 landmarks around the world will light up orange to raise awareness and celebrate past achievements.

Neglected Tropical Diseases blind, disable and disfigure people, taking away not only their health, but also their chances of staying in school, earning a living, or even being accepted by their family or community. Learn more about NTDs and World NTD Day here.

The Neglected Tropical Disease that Orbis primarily focuses on is trachoma. Trachoma - a painful bacterial eye infection - is one of those most prevalent Neglected Tropical Diseases and a major focus of our work globally. We recently celebrated the news that trachoma has decreased by 91% since 2002 in endemic areas.

Watch to get an overview of NTDs and learn how health institutions are teaming up with local doctors to #EndTheNeglect.

Over the past 22 years, we have administered over 82 million doses of donated Azithromycin in Ethiopia, with 65% of those doses distributed in the last five years. Orbis has also conducted nearly 174,222 trachomatous trichiasis surgeries and has established more than 320 primary eye care units.


Slideshow below: Images from our most recent Mass Drug Administration in Ethiopia in December

On January 30, 50 landmarks and buildings representing 25 nations will light up orange from 6PM-11PM local time to demonstrate the global effort to fight these painful diseases.

Stay tuned for more updates on this event, including beautiful photos of the landmarks.

Download the World NTD Day Social Media Toolkit here

Social Media Toolkit

You can join in and help raise awareness by downloading the social media kit here.

Orbis China NTD Day Summit

This year, to celebrate the effort of the global community to eliminate NTDs, and to further share knowledge and solutions, the Orbis China team will be hosting an NTD Prevention of Blindness Summit.

Chinese health experts have a lot of experience fighting NTDs with the country's once high prevalence having been drastically reduced in recent years. Public campaigns about the importance of clean drinking water and hygiene helped China eliminate trachoma in 2015.

Sub-saharan Africa is one of the world's least developed regions, with nearly 500 million people threatened by NTDs. Over the past 10 years significant progress on NTD prevention has been made, but it is still a severe public health issue which cannot be ignored.

This online summit will feature speakers from around the eye health community, including Orbis Director of North Asia, George Smith. Topics such as "Insights on Strengthening Public Eye Health Systems" will allow ophthalmology leaders in both China and Africa to discuss strategies and ideas for eliminating NTDs. The event will conclude with lighting the City Tower orange to kick off the Light Up the World event.

NTDs cause immeasurable suffering; they debilitate, disfigure, and can even be fatal. But NTDs can and must be beaten! Donate below to help eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases like trachoma.

Help us fight Neglected Tropical Diseases like Trachoma.

Donate today!