Speak out against Proposed Cuts to the USAID’s NTD Program

 

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The Global Network was disappointed to see the proposed decrease in neglected tropical disease (NTD) funding outlined in the President’s budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2016.  While the proposal includes $86.5 million for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Neglected Tropical Disease (USAID’s NTD) Program, it is a drop of $13.5 million from the $100 million allocation approved by Congress for FY 2014 and FY 2015.

Bipartisan action in Congress has thankfully, over the past few years, led to increased funding for NTD programs beyond the Administration’s requests. This year, the Global Network is urging Congress to honor and continue these previous commitments by requesting that the USAID NTD Program receive $125 million in funding for FY2016.

USAID’s NTD Program, an extremely successful and cost-effective public-private partnership, has reached more than 465 million individuals in 25 countries, focusing on the scale-up of mass drug administration (MDA) with the aim of controlling and eliminating the seven most common NTDs. The program leverages more than $6.7 billion worth of drugs donated by pharmaceutical companies in order to scale-up MDAs in endemic countries, such as Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Nigeria.

The USAID NTD Program is crucial for cutting poverty and increasing broader health outcomes worldwide, considering that NTD treatment contributes to the success of other development efforts. Maternal and child health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, education, and health systems strengthening ALL benefit from NTD treatment.

The Global Network’s END7 campaign is taking action against the proposed budget cuts with its recently-launched “Call to Action” petition. To get involved and speak out, add your name here.

For other ways to get involved and join the fight, use END7’s new Twitter tool to tweet directly at your member of Congress, urging them to defend the USAID NTD budget.  And lastly, feel free to share our infographic with your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues, which outlines just how crucial the USAID NTD Program is to the global effort to end NTDs.

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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