World NTD Day

We put the spot on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and call for action.


Every year on January 30th is World NTD Day! Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affect more than 1 billion people in the poorest and most marginalized communities worldwide with devastating health, social and economic consequences. World NTD Day marks an annual opportunity to mobilize together with more than 230 partners greater attention and to celebrate hard-earned progress.

Eliminating Schistosomiasis Eliminating Schistosomiasis

Our Activities

On World NTD Day 2024 we will host a celebratory event in our Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Headquarter which will be broadcasted to all our employees worldwide.

The event under the theme 'Unite. Act. Eliminate.', will shed light on the schistosomiasis work undertaken by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany over the years, as well as the road ahead towards elimination of schistosomiasis.

World NTD Day 2024 World NTD Day 2024

Since its start in 2007 the Schistosomiasis Elimination Program has hit major milestones. Over more than 15 years, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has donated 2 billion tablets, enabling the treatment of 800 million patients, primarily school-aged children, in 47 countries all over sub-Saharan Africa.
We will also celebrate the critical milestone achieved for a new pediatric treatment option for preschool-aged children, which received the scientific positive opinion by the European Medicines Agency in December 2023. Read the press release here.

We will welcome a panel of distinguished guests, key global health experts, to give us first-hand insights into the critical efforts to achieve the ambitious elimination goal: Juerg Utzinger, Director Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), Pamela Mbabazi, Medical Epidemiologist at WHO, Michael Makanga, Executive Director of the Global Health EDCTP3 Joint Undertaking, and Sam Mayer, Vice President, Public Affairs at the END Fund.

We will display our Photo Exhibition “Leaving no one behind” during a period of two weeks, January 29 to February 9, 2024, in the Innovation Center of our Headquarter. It showcases the experience of young boy Manyazewal in Ethiopia, who caught schistosomiasis and could recover thanks to concerted international efforts.

Social media posts during World NTD Day 2024

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Our Activities in 2023

In 2023, to mark World NTD Day, we had a word from one of our local heroes in the fight against schistosomiasis in Kenya: Dr. Jackson Muinde Mwandi:
"It really motivates me to see people getting rid of neglected tropical diseases. And with concerted efforts, the elimination of schistosomiasis by 2030 is possible."

Dr Jackson Muinde Mwandi Dr Jackson Muinde Mwandi

Dr. Jackson Muinde Mwandi
NTD Coordinator for Msambweni sub county, Kenya

Have a look at our social media posts during the day:

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What was going on in 2022?

We have committed ourselves to the fight against the NTD schistosomiasis (also known as bilharzia). Based on our integrated approach built on five components, we want to ensure progress and success in the fight against this devastating disease. We present each component with its own theme day throughout the week of World NTD Day.

girl washing girl washing

Day 1, 19/01/2022:  Kick-Off
We invite you to watch this video of Peter Guenter, member of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and CEO of Healthcare, on the progress made in the elimination of schistosomiasis here.

Day 2, 20/01/2022: Research & Development
Innovation is critical to fight neglected tropical diseases. We are investing in collaborative efforts for innovative health solutions in this field.
Read here about what we are doing to advance global health.

Day 3, 22/01/2022: Health Education
Neglected tropical diseases such as schistosomiasis are preventable and treatable. We provide treatments free of charge and launched a storytelling lab to raise awareness in local communities.
Find out more here.

Day 4, 24/01/2022: Treatment
In partnership with WHO, we have enabled the treatment of more than 600 million schoolchildren. Since 2007, we have provided the 1.5 billionth tablets to people in need in 47 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Read the press release here

Day 5, 27/01/2022: Partnerships
Collaboration is absolutely crucial to reach the WHO’s NTD roadmap goals for 2030. After ten years of joint efforts in the fight against NTDs the launch of the Kigali Declaration calls for continued commitments from all partners. We remain 100% committed to the elimination of schistosomiasis.

Image of People in Ethiopia Image of People in Ethiopia

Day 6, 29/01/2022: Water Sanitation and Hygiene
Safe water and sanitation, as well as good hygiene behaviors (WASH) are important in the prevention of schistosomiasis. We support our partners in their efforts to improve WASH measures.
Learn more here


Day 7, 30/01/2022: World NTD Day 2022
We are celebrating World NTD Day 2022! We are 100% committed to fight against the NTD schistosomiasis until it’s elimination. Together with our partners we continue #MakingSchistory!

100 percent Committed against Schistosomiasis - Collage 100 percent Committed against Schistosomiasis - Collage

Catch a Glimpse of Our Previous Activities in 2021

Connect with us

To help us raise awareness we invite you to follow and share our activities on social media using the hashtags #MakingSchistory #EndtheNeglect #BeatNTDs #100percentcommitted