Posts Tagged WHO

NTDs and Living Proof, Part 3: Global Progress

October 26th, 2009

Lymphatic filariasis (LF, or elephantiasis) often strikes children and adults living in impoverished, unsanitary conditions. Transmitted by mosquitoes, LF threatens more than one billion people in over 80 countries, with one third of those infected from India, one third from Africa, and the remainder from South Asia, the Pacific and the Americas. Of the 120 million people already afflicted, more than 40 million are seriously incapacitated and disfigured by the disease.  Fortunately, we have seen major successes in efforts to prevent and treat LF around the world.

The legs of a man infected with lymphatic filariasisIn 1997 the World Health Organization created the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis, with a strategy designed to eradicate the disease via mass drug administration—treating large portions of the population in order to break the cycle of transmission. To support these global efforts, GlaxoSmithKline and Merck & Co. pledged long-term drug donations of unprecedented size.

Over the ensuing decade, more than two billion treatments were safely administered, and, in 2007 alone, 546 million people were treated to prevent transmission of LF, making this the single largest public health initiative  employing mass drug administration to prevent an NTD ever.

Since 1997, some 6.6 million children who would have otherwise been infected with elephantiasis have been protected from the disease, with another 9.5 million infected people protected from the disease progressing to more debilitating stages.  These efforts ensure that children and adults who would otherwise be infected and unable to attend school or earn a living can live healthy, productive livescontributing to the well-being of their families and economies.

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Wed love to hear your perspectives on the impact of US investments in global health below in the comments section.  But more importantly, please contact your legislators and thank them for their support, letting them know about the remarkable successes our global health investments have achieved.

4 Million Children Dewormed in Rwanda

October 16th, 2009

denise_mupfasoni By Denise Mupfasoni, MD National Coordinator, Neglected Tropical Disease Control Program The Access Project

On October 9th, the first lady of the Republic of Rwanda, Mrs. Jeannette Kagame, launched the Integrated Measles Campaign which included a mass drug administration against intestinal worms and schistosomiasis in Gashora, Bugesera District.

During the campaign, an estimated four million children of 1-16 years were dewormed nationwide using mebendazole or albendazole tablets. In addition, school aged-children of 5-16 years in schistosomiasis endemic districts of Rutsiro, Nyamasheke, Gakenke, Gicumbi, Nyagatare and Ngoma also received praziquantel tablets.

Rwandan schoolchildren excited to receive their deworming medication.  Photo courtesy of The Access Project

Rwandan schoolchildren excited to receive their deworming medication. Photo courtesy of The Access Project

In her remarks during the launching ceremony, Mrs. Kagame applauded the important contribution of the Ministry of Health’s partners including Columbia University’s NTD Access Project, which provides ongoing support to Rwanda’s Ministry of Health in its efforts to build a foundation for sustainable NTD control.

“People are very excited to receive medicine for worms and schistosomiasis because they all now understand the importance of de-worming their children” said Cyprien Ntawuguranimana, deputy head of Gashora Health Center.  “We are not only administrating drugs but we are also educating them to practice preventive measures against NTDs since we all know that prevention is better than cure,” he added.

Read more: 4 Million Children Dewormed in Rwanda

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    • The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases is an advocacy initiative dedicated to raising the awareness, political will, and funding necessary to control and eliminate the most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)--a group of disabling, disfiguring, and deadly diseases affecting more than 1.4 billion people worldwide living on less than $1.25 a day.
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