The day after the United States government delivered its one billionth treatment for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), we headed up to Capitol Hill to deliver a special message to Congress.
In just eight years, the USAID NTD Program has helped deliver $6.7 billion in donated medicines around the world. But if the President’s $13.5 million budget cut is approved, the progress made against these diseases may falter.
Thousands of people asked Chairwoman Kay Granger and Ranking Member Nita Lowey, of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, to protect funding for NTD treatment.
When we printed all the names, the sheet was over twenty feet long! So long that we attracted curious stares from Congressional staff walking out of the Longworth House Office Building as we posed with the scroll on the steps outside.
We delivered a copy of the petition to Congresswoman Kay Granger’s office, and another went right to the House Appropriations Subcommittee, who is responsible for determining the budget.
Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are the most common diseases of the world’s poor. NTDs disable and debilitate one in six people worldwide, perpetuating a cycle of poverty that continues from generation to generation.
Worldwide, the USAID NTD program has delivered donated drugs to more than 465 million people in 25 countries, supporting large-scale integrated treatment programs in which entire communities and regions are treated for the most common NTDs all at once. This is one of the most cost-effective and innovative partnerships in global health.
Thanks to you, we’re hopeful that funding for the USAID NTD Program will not be cut but rather expanded.
Watch our photo slideshow to view more pictures from the petition delivery.