USAID to Spend $6bn on Neglected Tropical Diseases

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The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced new partnerships to help countries eliminate and control neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Over the next five years, new and expanded partnerships will provide 1.3 billion treatments, leverage $6 billion in donated drugs, and prevent more than 585 million people from needing treatment for NTDs.

Over the next five years, USAID and its partners have committed to eliminating Trachoma, the world’s leading cause of preventable blindness, by treating at-risk communities and supporting surgeries for affected individuals. USAID will also combat and seek to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis, a painful and disfiguring parasitic infection transmitted by mosquitos. In addition, USAID will promote improved sanitation to break the transmission of diseases like Schistosomiasis, caused by a painful abdominal parasite.

Over the last decade, USAID has supported the delivery of more than 1.6 billion treatments to prevent and treat seven of the most prevalent NTDs for more than 743 million people across 25 countries.  Partnership was essential to this success, including investments from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, the Conrad Hilton Foundation, and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.

Over the past 10 years, pharmaceutical companies have given more than $11 billion worth of drugs free of charge to the countries where USAID supports mass treatment campaigns. These companies include Eisai, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co.,Merck Serono and Pfizer. Every $1 invested by USAID in NTDs leverages $26 in pharmaceutical donations for mass treatment campaigns reducing USAID’s treatment cost to 63 cents per person, a best buy in public health.

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