Five years ago today – shortly after the launch of the END7 campaign – global partners gathered at the Royal College of Physicians to endorse the London Declaration on NTDs: a set of sweeping commitments to support the global effort to control, eliminate and eradicate neglected tropical diseases. The London Declaration launched a historic partnership between pharmaceutical companies, aid agencies, national governments and NGOs that today supports the delivery of over 1.5 billion NTD treatments per year.
The END7 campaign has been part of the success story of the London Declaration since the beginning, providing a global platform to connect ordinary citizens with meaningful ways to contribute to the fight against NTDs. To celebrate the past five years of progress, here are five ways END7 supporters have helped the world get closer to the end of NTDs:
- One million dollars – and counting: Ending the suffering caused by NTDs will require significant financial resources. While NTD treatment and prevention is a “best buy” in global health with an incredible return on investment compared to its low cost, the number of people at risk of these disfiguring and debilitating diseases means that endemic countries and global partners will have to mobilize funding to deliver medicine donated by pharmaceutical companies. END7 supporters have donated more than $1,000,000. These generous donations have funded treatment and prevention programs in more than a dozen countries, training health workers, producing new educational resources and expanding the reach of mass drug administration programs.
- Making NTDs go viral: END7’s “How to Shock a Celebrity” video featuring our famous friends Eddie Redmayne, Emily Blunt, Tom Felton, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Tom Hollander and Priyanka Chopra has been viewed more than seven million times across YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms. For many viewers, the video was their first introduction to the dramatic effects of NTDs – and a call-to-action. The video has helped raise significant funds for NTD treatment and recruited dedicated END7 supporters to be long-term advocates for this cause.
- Building the next generation of global health leaders: Students at universities in more than fifteen countries have started END7 chapters and taken leadership positions with the campaign through the END7 Student Advisory Board and Campus Leaders Council. These young leaders have raised more than $115,000 for NTD treatment, taught courses and led research projects, used campus and local media to raise awareness and enthusiastically supported END7 advocacy efforts urging national and international leaders to support the control and elimination effort. Through the annual END7 Student Advocacy Day, student advocates have met with more than 70 members of the U.S. Congress and heard from inspiring speakers like Global Health Corps founder Barbara Bush about the importance of grassroots advocacy for global health.
- Racing towards the end: Last summer, a unique partnership with the Hogwarts Running Club leveraged the power of fandom for good. More than 3,500 people signed up to run the “Fantastic Beasts 5k” in their own communities to support END7 in advance of the release of “Fantastic Beasts and Where the Find Them,” the Harry Potter prequel starring END7 supporter Eddie Redmayne. These athletic fans raised nearly $100,000 to support NTD treatment and prevention programs – accelerating progress towards the end of NTDs!
- Putting NTDs on the map – and the calendar: END7 supporters have taken the messages of our campaign to every corner of the globe. In 2016, they celebrated the first NTD Awareness Week, an effort driven by END7 student supporters and echoed by leading global health organizations. The second annual NTD Awareness Week kicks off today – follow #NTDWeek on social media for live updates from END7 supporters around the world!
We are amazed at the creativity and dedication of the END7 community and excited to see what we can accomplish together as we look forward to the end of NTDs!