US Unveils New Neglected Tropical Diseases

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Accra, GHANA- November 15, 2018 – The United States of America, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and in collaboration with the ministries of health in 11 countries, is launching a new, five-year $200 million program to control and eliminate five neglected tropical diseases in Sub-Saharan West Africa.

This newly launched program deepens USAID’s efforts to eliminate trachoma, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis in 11 West African countries—Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. The program seeks to support disease-endemic countries to control and eliminate targeted neglected tropical diseases using proven, cost-effective public health interventions. With support from USAID, Ghana eliminated trachoma as a public health problem in 2018 and Togo achieved elimination of lymphatic filariasis in 2017.

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Neglected tropical diseases affect hundreds of millions of West Africans—especially the poorest, most marginalized, and hardest-to-reach populations. Neglected tropical diseases result in chronic illness, blindness, and physical disfigurements and thus contribute to poverty, malnutrition, delayed cognitive development in children, and low productivity.

USAID launched the new Control and Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases program and celebrating the achievements of a previous project at a two-day meeting on November 14–15, 2018, at the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City in Accra, Ghana.

USAID is a global leader in elimination and control of five of the most prevalent NTDs and strategically supports countries to plan, finance, and implement solutions to their own development challenges. Together with partners, USAID has supported the delivery of 2.3 billion treatments to more than one billion people across 31 countries over the past 12 years.

Learn more at neglecteddiseases.gov.