The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched Act to End Neglected Tropical Diseases | East, a new global programme working to strengthen countries’ abilities to control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The programme will control and eliminate five neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Uganda and twelve other countries. The programme is a five-year activity led by RTI International in partnership with the participating countries’ Ministries of Health, and will support disease-endemic countries to plan, implement and finance solutions to fight NTDs using proven, cost-effective public health interventions.
Act to End NTDs | East will target five of the most prevalent NTDs—lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, and soil-transmitted helminth infections—through the widespread administration of safe, single-dose medicines. These sustained efforts can lead to control or elimination of the diseases over multiple years. NTDs are also a key part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in Goal 3, Target 3.3.
USAID support has already helped Cambodia to eliminate trachoma and lymphatic filariasis, and Laos and Nepal to eliminate trachoma. The newly launched Act to End NTDs | East programme will operate in Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Indonesia, Laos, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam.
As the lead organization for Act to End NTDs | East, RTI will leverage its expertise across NTDs; water, sanitation, and hygiene services (WASH); health systems strengthening; education; governance, communication and more to implement comprehensive, sustainable solutions. The team includes five experienced NTD elimination partners from ENVISION: The Carter Center, Fred Hollows Foundation, IMA World Health, Light for the World, and Sightsavers, and adds three new partners: Results for Development, Save the Children, and WI-HER.