Tag Archives: END7 Campaign

Introducing Grace Gannon: END7 February Student of the Month

 

Grace GannonEach 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, Grace Gannon, who has distinguished herself as one of our most passionate and talented student leaders as an inaugural member of the END7 Student Advisory Board. Grace, a junior at the University of Texas-Austin studying public health, shares:

“The past seven months have by far been the best months of my life—oddly enough, due to a group of seven deadly diseases. I first heard about neglected tropical diseases from the book Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases. I read the book over the summer and was fascinate​d with NTDs and their crippling effects in developing regions. I then had the privilege of meeting with the author, Dr. Peter Hotez of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, to ask what I as a student could do to make a difference for people suffering from NTDs. Dr. Hotez encouraged me that advocating for NTD treatment did not have to wait until I graduated from medical school, equipped with the necessary tools to treat infected persons. He convinced me that by involving the UT community, with a student body of over 50,000 and one of the most extensive and organized alumni networks in the country, I could begin to make a difference right away. Immediately I accepted the challenge, and what an incredible journey it has been.”

Grace founded END7 at UT in August of 2013 to involve her community in her new-found passion. She has formed a vibrant group of student advocates at UT in just a few months. “Through END7 at UT,” she continues, “I am able to put my passion for fighting NTDs into direct action. END7 at UT is reaching out to the UT and greater Austin communities to educate people about NTDs. Our goal is to enlighten the public to the widespread suffering that is silently prevailing across the developing world. We believe in health as a human right and want to educate and raise funds to support successful public health interventions such as rapid impact packages of NTD drugs.

UT Valentines Day

So far, END7 at UT has hosted two successful fundraisers on campus and has raised over $1,000 through our online fundraising page. Moving forward, we plan to host several awareness events, educating students to be effective advocates for NTD treatment programs. Overall, having the opportunity to work with END7 has been an incredible honor, and I cannot wait to see what END7 at UT will be able to accomplish.”

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

How You Contributed to the Movement against NTDs in 2013 – and How We Can Do Even More

 

As 2013 comes to a close, we have reason to celebrate. END7 supporters helped treat entire communities of people suffering from neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Honduras, Myanmar, and Kenya, and our partners have completed treatment programs for millions of people in other countries. We’re making progress in the fight against NTDs.

The hundreds of thousands of children, mothers, families and communities who benefit from NTD treatment motivate us to continue the fight; mothers like Alice who pray every day for the health of their families, and sisters like Neema who want to be healthy and free of parasites so they can play and learn with their siblings.

Watch our new video to see the people who are benefitting from our work. We want to say thank you for making a difference in their lives.

The effort to end NTDs includes a diverse group of global partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO), national governments, pharmaceutical companies, corporations and individuals. Just this year, world leaders took notice and stood up for the 1.4 billion people suffering from NTDs.  The World Health Assembly, the African Union and the Organization of America States all made commitments to end NTDs. Governments across the world made national plans to end NTDs within their own countries — and when so many END7 supporters spoke out on behalf of those suffering from  NTDs, the United Nations responded with a letter stating that the fight against NTDs is “paramount to the global efforts to eradicate poverty.”

We’ve come a long way, but we can do even more in 2014 with your help. We’re ready to expand our efforts next year and reach even more communities in more countries. Your donations help deliver medicine to hard to reach places, train healthcare workers to administer treatment, educate people about NTDs, prepare for annual pill distributions and help communities take ownership of their own treatment programs.

If we want to improve the health of the most marginalized communities, enhance economic performance and contribute to broader development goals, we need to press on in the fight against NTDs. Will you stand with us? Donate, share our video or start your own campaign to amplify our efforts and improve the lives of those who need it most.

Making Progress against NTDs in Honduras

Three to four hours. That’s how long one mother was willing to walk to make sure her child attended the annual vaccination and deworming campaign in the village of Coyalito in San Esteban, Honduras.

This past April was my third trip to Honduras in the last 14 months. On my first two trips, I spent the majority of my time running between government offices and meetings – including attending the launch of the Honduras national integrated plan on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).  Honduras was the first country* in Latin America and the Caribbean region to launch such a plan – which ensures that the country is tackling all diseases at once – versus one at a time.

This time on my return to Honduras, I saw firsthand how that plan was being put into motion.

And I was amazed.

For a country facing severe challenges in security and violence, Honduras is a leader and innovator when it comes to tackling NTDs.

Three government divisions – the Ministries of Health, Education and Social Development are working together to reach people in even the most remote parts of the country.  They’ve taken charge by developing working groups to tackle issues and problems they notice when bringing the programs to the community.

They’re enthusiastic. They’re driven. And I’m quite positive that they’re going to succeed.

I know this because I traveled over six hours with the Ministry of Health over unpaved and rocky roadways on their visits to various districts.  Distribution was carefully arranged: a health worker used a loud megaphone to call out to members of the community to invite them to visit the vaccine and deworming campaign.  From there, mothers would bring their young children to receive essential vaccines and deworming medicine.

A nurse practitioner told me that bundling healthcare delivery– such as vaccination and deworming – often encourages more families to come. Most parents know about these diseases, especially the intestinal worms.  In Honduras, and many other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean,  there’s a common belief that if children grind their teeth at night, they have parasites. There is a demand for deworming, and mothers came armed with their child’s immunization card and found a space to account for their child’s annual deworming treatment.

The Honduran ministries are also thinking beyond treatment for NTDs to a more comprehensive approach.  These diseases are often spread due to lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation, which is a reality for some of the families in villages like Coyalito.  As a result, the ministries are pushing to incorporate water filters in schools, and other sanitation initiatives which will propel these treatment programs toward long-term success.

At the end of the day, I joined the health team in brief survey to determine attendance of the campaign. We walked around each “manzana” – or block – to knock on people’s homes and ask them if children were dewormed and vaccinated. Health workers talked to them about why it’s important to attend these campaigns and have their children treated.

Among advocacy organizations, it seems that we often divvy up health issues, as if family planning, treatment for NTDs and vaccination are all independent projects.  But, the reality is that often, at the point-of-care level, everything is bundled together. It’s very effective.

Our partners in Honduras want to expand this successful initiative to help many more families. END7 is asking supporters to help fill a funding gap to make sure this medicine reaches Honduran children in 20,061 schools. With your help we can reach 1.4 million school children and protect them harmful parasitic worms, including roundworm, hookworm, and whipworm.

Help us see the end of NTDs in Honduras by making a contribution. Read more about END7’s effort to raise money and support for NTD treatment in Honduras here.

*In March 2013, Brazil launched their integrated national plan, and currently several other countries have draft plans in development.

A Little Goes a Long Way on #GivingTuesday

We’re excited to be a part of a big new push by corporations, nonprofits and individuals across the country to raise awareness of the importance of giving back during this time of year when there’s so much focus on purchasing gifts and getting discounts.

Today is #GivingTuesday, and we urge you, your friends, colleagues and family members to consider participating by spreading the word and finding your own way to give back to our global community.

For the Global Network and the END7 Campaign, we have a number of ways you can get involved, if ridding the world of NTDs is on your to-do list (just like us).

You may not have much of a sense of just how big of an impact we are able to make with investments from individuals like you. NTD treatment and prevention is one of the most cost effective ways to address poverty, and with just 50 cents, our partners can treat a person for one year against the seven most common NTDs.

You can participate in #GivingTuesday using the links below to raise money and spread the word about NTDs:

We fight NTDs not only because of their horrific impact, but also because we are convinced that they can be beaten by the end of this decade. Together as a global community, we are making progress every day, and we urge you to give today to help us see the end of NTDs.