Introducing Tahseen Karim, February’s END7 Student of the Month

 

Tahseen at galaEach month, END7 honors one student who has made a significant contribution to our growing movement of student advocates dedicated to seeing the end of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). We are very proud to introduce our February Student of the Month, Tahseen Karim, who joined the END7 Student Advisory Board just last month. Tahseen, a first-year medical student at UT Houston, shares:

“I have always truly enjoyed volunteering and philanthropy. However, coming in to medical school, I was under the impression that there would not be any time for service. I imagined my schedule filled with endless lectures, mandatory meetings and power naps. After a few weeks in, these expectations became realities. But rather than break me down, I found that my new stressful lifestyle actually empowered me. As a pre-professional at one of the state’s best medical schools located in the world’s largest medical center, I felt that I was in a position to do great things. With newfound ambition, I ran for student government, and became the Service Senator of the UT Houston Class of 2018. I made it my priority to utilize my influence in the community as a medical student to make a difference in the world.

Seeking out a potential class charity to support for the year, I soon learned about END7 from other medical students who knew Emily Conron, the campaign’s Student Outreach Coordinator. My classmates did not hesitate to choose END7 as our class charity, and we quickly began to work toward our goal of raising $25,000. A semi-formal banquet held in February was our very first fundraising event of the year. I was very proud of everyone who worked so hard while handling a full course load to help make this event successful. It was truly inspiring to see so many of my classmates believe in a good cause enough to sacrifice time and effort for it. We raised over $5,000 in one night and hope to continue achieving positive outcomes in the future. I can tell our futures as physicians as well as humanitarians look promising.”

We are so grateful for Tahseen’s continued commitment to END7 and are excited to see our community of student supporters like him grow. If you are ready to get your school involved in END7’s work, contact the END7’s student outreach coordinator at Emily.Conron@sabin.org to learn how you can get started!

Parliamentary Launch for UKCNTD’s Annual NTD Report

 

CaptureThis blog was originally posted by the UK Coalition against Neglected Tropical Diseases

Great strides have been made in the battle against Neglected Tropical Diseases but more needs to be done for the 1 in 5 people whose lives are still blighted by these diseases. This is one of the key messages of the 2014-2015 Report for the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases (download http://bit.ly/1DcawHo ), launched at a special meeting in the UK Houses of Parliamentary on Tuesday 24th February.

The report outlines the advances that have been made over the last 12 months to control and eliminate diseases which affect 1.4 billion of the world’s poorest people through mortality, morbidity, disability and stigma.

NTDs are a key barrier to attainment of global development goals and poverty reduction.

Jeremy Lefroy MP, Chairman of the APPG, said:

“Ebola has shone a spotlight on the importance of building health systems to address challenges such as insufficient numbers of qualified health workers and inadequate surveillance and information systems equipped to respond rapidly to new and existing health challenges. Neglected Tropical Diseases affect the world’s poorest communities. They must remain a global health priority post-2015.”

The Coalition makes eight recommendations. The report encourages the UK Government to:

  • maintain its financial commitment to NTD programmes
  • ensure that the Department for International Development (DFID) disability framework and forthcoming health system framework support a response to NTDs
  • ensure that DFID supports country governments to equip their health systems to deliver essential NTD interventions
  • support the full range of research and development for NTDs
  • promote a cross-sectoral NTD response
  • promote the partnership model exemplified by the NTD response
  • continue to champion international investments for NTDs by supporting the inclusion of NTDs in the Sustainable Development Goals
  • highlight the successes achieved with UK government investment and urge other governments and institutions to contribute more to the fight against NTDs

Good, competent, transparent government, specialist expertise and more health workers are all necessary ingredients to combat NTDs.

Helen Hamilton, Chair of the Coalition said;

“In the last five years of this Parliament much progress has been made. Due to the commitment of the government the UK is a world leader in fighting these devastating diseases. But we need to maintain and increase this investment if we are to achieve the international community’s 2020 target of eliminating and controlling these terrible diseases.”

Download the Annual Report from - http://bit.ly/1DcawHo

For further information about this report, please contact Francis Peel

Success in Vietnam: More than 700,000 School Children Treated!

 

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Over the span of two months, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health, together with World Vision Australia, treated more than 700,000 school children for intestinal worms. Generous donations from END7 supporters helped support this massive effort to reach every primary school in the nine target provinces across the country.

Vietnam’s mass drug administration (MDA) was critical to improving the country’s health. Intestinal worms pose a significant threat to children in Vietnam; more than 8 million children are at risk. If infected, these children are more likely to suffer from malnutrition and anemia. Intestinal worm infections also lead to school absenteeism and decreased cognitive function. In order to reach their full potential, all at-risk children must be treated regularly.

To help address Vietnam’s burden of intestinal worms, END7 donations supported the delivery of abendazole tablets, and the training of teachers and healthcare workers. Now, END7 funds will be supporting the country’s efforts to monitor and evaluate the success of the MDA campaign.

Thanks to our END7 supporters for playing a meaningful role in the fight against neglected tropical diseases!

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BRICS and G7 Countries Poised to Expand Access to NTD Treatments

 

Photo by Sumanto Chattopadhyay

Photo by Sumanto Chattopadhyay

2015 provides a tremendous opportunity to improve global health, particularly as the window to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) closes. With the international community looking ahead to the post-2015 development agenda, leaders from some of the world’s most advanced and growing economies are poised to play an important role in expanding access to neglected tropical disease (NTD) treatments.

Recently, the Global Network was encouraged to see both the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and the Group of 7 (G7) call attention to NTDs and add momentum to the global movement to control and eliminate them.

For example, under Brazil’s leadership, NTDs were added to the BRICS’ collective health agenda for the first time during the Fourth BRICS Health Ministers Meeting, held in Brasilia, Brazil, on Dec. 5, 2014. Recognizing that many of these diseases are preventable, officials pledged to improve access to existing health solutions that will help the world control and eliminate NTDs by 2020.

This move marks a positive step and injects new energy in the global fight against NTDs. This group of 17 parasitic and bacterial infections has a devastating impact on the poorest, most marginalized communities across the globe, perpetuating poverty and inequality.

In addition to the BRICS’ commitment to address NTDs, we were happy to see that neglected and poverty-related diseases will be one of the focal areas for the 2015 G7 Summit agenda. This year’s Summit, held on June 7-8 in Germany, will provide an important platform for promoting and coordinating efforts to control and eliminate NTDs. Collectively, these diseases impede economic growth and can cause impaired childhood growth and development, poor pregnancy outcomes, blindness and crippling disfigurement.

The G7 Summit also provides an opportunity to reinforce that investments in NTD control programs are one of the best buys in global health. Pharmaceutical companies have already stepped up, providing medicine free-of-charge to treat the most common NTDs through 2020. G7 leadership, in particular, is critical to leveraging these drug donations. More resources for NTD control programs would allow countries to scale up interventions through mass drug administrations to deliver treatment to all those who need them.

While both the BRICS and G7 countries have made encouraging commitments, we hope they will deliver on their promises and take concrete actions to control and eliminate NTDs.

Much progress has been made, but there is still work to be done. For example, BRICS countries continue to account for more than 30 percent of the world’s children at risk of intestinal worms, and India alone represents nearly half of the world’s population at risk of lymphatic filariasis. BRICS countries can set an example both within and beyond BRICS borders by prioritizing NTD control and elimination.

We also hope to see G7 leaders deliver on their earlier promises and take concrete actions to control and eliminate NTDs. At the 2008 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, G7 leaders made impressive commitments to reach at least 75 percent of the people affected by NTDs, in order to eliminate these diseases as public health threats. By supporting the London Declaration, G7 leaders can invigorate a low-cost solution that unlocks the economic potential of millions of people burdened by these diseases, while simultaneously supporting the World Health Organization’s goal to control and eliminate NTDs and the World Bank’s target of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030.

For more on the BRICS and G7, read our statements here and here.