A Message from the Chair

I have long dreamed of establishing a network in Japan to help with the world’s battle against neglected tropical diseases, and that dream came true on November 9, 2018, with the inauguration of the Japan Alliance on Global Neglected Tropical Diseases (JAGntd).

During my many years of work in the global NTD community, Japan’s lack of presence in that setting was a source of personal disappointment, especially given the country’s not-insignificant financial contribution to the cause. To close the gap with the global NTD community, I believed that Japan needed to establish a formalized network and to connect that organization with those of the rest of the world.

Representing Japan at Uniting to Combat NTDs, an advocacy start-up conference held in London in December 2016, inspired and set in motion my plans to draw up a detailed concept for Japan’s network.

Approval from the academic community for such a network at a Joint Congress on Global Health symposium in November 2017, as well as broad support from a side event of the Universal Health Coverage Forum the following month, led me to begin detailed preparations to establish the network in January 2018.

That work was helped by a variety of people, who participated generously in preparatory committees and consultation sessions. Indeed, the successful launch of the JAGntd was due in no small part to their valuable assistance, and I am grateful to each and every one of them.

Now that the framework is in place, we must strive to build our membership, and begin relevant activities. To that end, I call on all interested organizations, groups, and individuals to join the JAGntd and help fulfill its mission and philosophy.

As chair of the Steering Committee, I look forward to working with committee members and other staff to enhance the domestic NTD network and pursue its tasks, which include collating and sharing information, advocacy, and partnering with the broader NTD community worldwide. Together, we will endeavor to make a genuine contribution to the WHO’s goals regarding the elimination and eradication of neglected tropical diseases.

Kazuyo Ichimori
Chair, Steering Committee
Japan Alliance on Global Neglected Tropical Diseases
November 9, 2018