These efforts will work alongside existing programs aimed at reducing the suffering from NTDs for people in the Americas. Recognizing the opportunity to make major strides in fighting NTDs in the region, several additional organizations are joining this partnership, including:
The Brazilian National Soccer Team - committing to raising awareness of NTDs in Brazil and the Americas
Deworm the World - Donating 20 million deworming tablets to treat intestinal worms in pre-school and school-age children in the region
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) - Reaffirming its support through its long-standing donation of albendazole for the global elimination of lymphatic filariasis (LF)
Lew Lara/TBWA - Committing to providing in-kind advertising and brand marketing strategy services for the partnership's initial advocacy efforts in the Americas
Maureen Orth - As a Global Network Regional Ambassador, is committing to raise awareness in Colombia of the devastating impact NTDs have on the physical and cognitive development of children and the links between deworming and education
Miss Universe Organization - Current and former pageant participants will go to regions to raise awareness and help deliver drug treatments
Partners for Philanthropic Change - Committing to secure $10 million for NTD partnerships to be used toward NTD control in the Americas
"NTDs are some of the most common disabling and disfiguring diseases afflicting the poorest people living in the Americas," said Kari Stoever, Managing Director of the Global Network. "This commitment will provide more than 30 million people suffering from NTDs with preventive treatment and other public health services, while also raising awareness and political will for further action."
NTDs produce extreme poverty through their impact on children's physical and cognitive development, pregnancy outcomes and worker productivity. Based on their prevalence, soil transmitted helminths and Chagas disease cause the greatest NTD burden in the Americas, followed by dengue, schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, trachoma, leprosy, and lymphatic filariasis. More than 230 million people in the region are currently living with these devastating diseases. However, with a firm commitment from the public and private sectors, it is possible to eliminate onchocerciasis (river blindness), lymphatic filariasis and trachoma throughout the region, as well as schistosomiasis in the Caribbean.
This partnership is a concrete example of how organizations and governments can work together to support new investments to reach control and elimination goals under President Obama's Global Health Initiative. The new Regional Fund to be established with the money raised will specifically go to efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean. The funds will support country ownership and capacity, and beneficiaries include national governments, national programs and non-profits. The partnership will promote integration with existing primary care initiatives such as vitamin A and immunization campaigns, and encourage collaboration with other programs to fight global diseases.
The IDB has been a leader in championing this approach through its efforts to create new linkages between water and sanitation projects and public health programs. PAHO is a long-time regional leader providing technical cooperation in health care systems and disease prevention, control and elimination to the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
About the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases
The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases is an advocacy initiative dedicated to raising the awareness, political will, and funding necessary to control and eliminate the most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)--a group of disabling, disfiguring, and deadly diseases affecting more than 1.4 billion people worldwide living on less than $1.25 a day. For more information, visit www.globalnetwork.org
About the Inter-American Development Bank
The Inter-American Development Bank, the world's biggest regional development bank, partners with Latin America and the Caribbean to alleviate poverty by providing resources and knowledge for the region. http://www.iadb.org/
About the Pan American Health Organization
The Pan American Health Organization, founded in 1902, works with all the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of their peoples. It serves as the Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO). http://new.paho.org/
About Sabin Vaccine Institute
Sabin Vaccine Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing human suffering from infectious and neglected diseases. Through its efforts in vaccine research, development and advocacy, Sabin works to provide greater access to vaccines and essential medicines for millions stuck in pain, poverty and despair. Founded in 1993 in honor of Dr. Albert B. Sabin, discoverer of the oral polio vaccine, the Sabin Vaccine Institute works with prestigious institutions, scientists, medical professionals, and organizations to provide short and long-term solutions that result in healthier individuals, families and communities around the globe. For more information about Sabin's research and commitment, visit: www.sabin.org.