Global Network Releases New Web Video Featuring Music from Wyclef Jean to Shine a Spotlight on Low-Cost, Effective Treatment Program
May 14, 2009, Washington, DC -- The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases announced today that more than four million women and children were de-wormed for approximately 30 cents per person during the most recent neglected tropical diseases (NTD) control campaign in Rwanda. In an ongoing effort to build a foundation for sustainable NTD control, the Access Project (a partner of the Global Network), the Rwandan government, and other international partners delivered the treatments, with locally trained community health providers, during its recent Mother and Child Health Week.
“Through partnership development, training of health professionals and drug distributors, and conducting of mapping and baseline surveys, Rwanda’s MDA program is a model for other successful country treatment efforts,” said Kari Stoever, Managing Director of the Global Network. “For approximately 30 cents for one year of treatment per person, the campaign in Rwanda is a shining example of the cost-effectiveness of NTD control programs. Few approaches in global health offer such an incredible return on investment.”
To shine a spotlight on the effectiveness of the program, the Global Network released a new Web video highlighting the millions of children and mothers in Rwanda who received treatment over the course of the campaign. The video uses beautifully integrated images, words and sounds to convey a powerful message of hope for the global campaign to eliminate the neglect of NTDs by 2020. Filmed on-location in High Definition, the music is provided by the Haitian artist Wyclef Jean.
Over the course of the week-long initiative which took place in March 2009, representatives administered albendazole to a targeted population of children under five, school-age children, and post-partum women, to treat for soil-transmitted helminthes (STHs), commonly known as intestinal worms, reaching 95.2% of the target population. Additionally in high prevalence areas children were treated with praziquantel for schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease carried by fresh water snails; vitamin A, immunizations, family planning services and health education messages were also delivered throughout the country.
Rwanda Mother and Child Health Week Treatment Numbers:
- Total number of people treated with albendazole for STHs: 4,237,118
- Total pre-school children treated: 1,320,343
- Total post-partum women treated 63,495
- Total school-age children treated 2,853,280
- Estimated treatment coverage rate for STHs: 95.2%
- Total number of children treated with praziquantel for schistosomiasis: 105,786
Research has shown that eliminating the burden of NTDs could lift millions out of poverty worldwide by ensuring children stay in school to learn and prosper and improving maternal and child health. NTDs infect over 400 million school-age children throughout the developing world. Treating their infections is the single most cost-effective way to boost school attendance. Controlling intestinal worms alone will help to avoid 16 million cases of mental retardation and 200 million years of lost primary schooling. Recent studies have found that NTDs – especially soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) and schistosomiasis – are prevalent throughout Rwanda. In 2007, over 65% of school-age children were found to be infected with STHs nationwide; in the Northern Province, the prevalence rate surpasses 80%. In the district of Musanze, in the northern province of Rwanda, there is a staggering 95% prevalence of STH among school-age children.
Rwanda’s Mother and Child Health Week Partners include: The Rwandan Minister of Health, Rwandan Government Officials, the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, USAID, The Global Fund, The Earth Institute’s the Access Project, World Food Program, GTZ and UNFPA.
NTDs are a group of 13 parasitic and bacterial infections that are the most common afflictions of the world’s poorest people. Spread by mechanisms as simple as a bite of an infected fly or contact with contaminated water, they blind, disable, disfigure and stigmatize their victims, trapping them in an unending cycle of poverty. Research has shown that eliminating NTDs lifts millions out of poverty by ensuring that children stay in school to learn and prosper; by strengthening worker productivity; and by improving maternal and child health. The 13 NTDs are ascariasis, trichuriasis, hookworm, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, trachoma, dracunculiasis, Chagas disease, human African trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, Buruli ulcer and leprosy.
About Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases
The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, a major initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, is committed to raising the profile of neglected tropical diseases and leveraging international resources to end suffering and death through effective, low-cost treatments. www.globalnetwork.org
Members of the Global Network: The Earth Institute at Columbia University, Helen Keller International, International Trachoma Initiative, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, and The Task Force for Child Survival and Development.
About Sabin Vaccine Institute
Sabin Vaccine Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing human suffering from infectious and neglected diseases. Through its efforts in vaccine research, development and advocacy, Sabin works to provide greater access to vaccines and essential medicines for millions stuck in pain, poverty and despair. Founded in 1993 in honor of Dr. Albert B. Sabin, discoverer of the oral polio vaccine, the Sabin Vaccine Institute works with prestigious institutions, scientists, medical professionals, and organizations to provide short and long-term solutions that result in healthier individuals, families and communities around the globe. For more information about Sabin’s research and commitment, visit: www.sabin.org.
Attached file: Rwanda_Treatment_Numbers_release_5_14.doc