Last week President Obama stated his commitment to global health in his State of the Union speech. Today, the administration detailed exactly what form that commitment would take. In the newly unveiled fiscal year 2011 budget over $3 billion are requested to address global health concerns.
The Global Network applauds the Obama Administration for their inclusion of $155 million to address neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) worldwide.
Even more exciting is the ambitious goals for NTD treatment set forth by the President’s Global Health Initiative. The main aim of this initiative is to reduce the prevalence of the 7 most common NTDs by 50% among 70% of the affected population. Specific goals include the elimination of onchocerciasis, (river blindness), in Latin America by 2016 and the elimination of lymphatic filariasis globally by 2017.
While these are just the first steps, the Global Network is glad to see that NTDs are being recognized by the Administration as a major global health concern and that serious and ambitious efforts will be made to make these diseases a thing of the past.