Treatment of neglected tropical diseases reaches 1bn milestone

International NGO, Sightsavers and its partners, in their collaborative effort to eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), have hit a historic milestone by delivering treatment, supported by UK aid, to one billion beneficiary.

The one billionth treatment; which was administered today [Thursday] to a seven-year-old girl who was at risk of NTDs in Kudaru, a community in Kaduna State, Nigeria; was a combined treatment for Onchocerciasis (river blindness) and Lymphatic Filariasis (LF).

NTDs are a group of painful and debilitating infections that affect more than one billion of the poorest people across the globe. They are most prevalent in developing countries, and can cause severe and lifelong physical impairment, trapping individuals, families and whole communities in a cycle of poverty and social isolation.

According to the Director of NTDs at Sightsavers, Simon Bush, “NTDs impact some of the world’s poorest people, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Our collaboration with communities, ministries of health in endemic countries, donors, other NGOs and academic institutions, shows that these diseases can be prevented, treated and ultimately eliminated.”

“We need to continue to work in partnership to strengthen healthcare systems from the inside, and ensure support is given to the people who need it… we want to tackle the problems at the root of NTDs, which are the sorts of things many of us take for granted, like access to clean water, sanitation facilities, and education,” he added.

Sightsavers is a leading player in the fight against NTDs, working with partners to support NTD programmes in 29 countries, while treating five diseases namely: Trachoma, River Blindness, Lymphatic Filariasis, Intestinal Worms, and Schistosomiasis.

 

Credit: Citi FM