Africa: Neglected Tropical Diseases Treatments Hit 1 Billion Mark
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Washington — The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) May 8 celebrated its support of the delivery of 1 billion neglected tropical disease (NTD) treatments that are helping more than 465 million people in 25 countries in some of the world’s poorest populations.
To celebrate this milestone, the agency said on its website, USAID launched One Billion and Counting: Accelerating Action to Eliminate NTDs by 2020.
To date, USAID has supported the Haitian Ministry of Health and Population in the provision of more than 40 million NTD treatments to 20 million people in Haiti alone. In 2013, Haiti’s Ministry of Health and Population, with USAID support, provided nearly 10 million treatments for lymphatic filariasis and soil-transmitted helminthes to almost 5 million people (including school-aged children), reaching more than 90 percent of the target population. Haiti successfully reached national scale for lymphatic filariasis treatment in 2012.
“While this is indeed a celebratory moment for USAID and our partners, we must continue to work harder and smarter to reach the goals set forth in the World Health Organization’s NTD Roadmap for the control and elimination of NTDs,” said Dr. Ariel Pablos-Mendez, assistant administrator for USAID’s Global Health Bureau. “Much-needed drugs are available thanks to donations from our pharmaceutical partners, but these drugs can only reach those who need them the most when there is assurance that in-country distribution mechanisms and plans are in place.