FAQs

Please find the answers to frequently asked questions about the Global Network below. If you have additional questions, please contact us. If you are a member of the media, please contact our communications team.

View the complete factsheet

What are neglected tropical diseases?
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of parasitic and bacterial infections that infect one in six people worldwide, including more than half a billion children. NTDs disable, debilitate and perpetuate poverty. In worst case scenarios, they can kill.

What is Global Network?
The Global Network is an initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute that works in partnership with international agencies, governments, scientists, program implementers and development organizations to raise the awareness, political will and funding necessary to control and eliminate the seven most common NTDs by 2020.

What are the seven most common NTDs?
The seven most common NTDs are ascariasis (roundworm), trichuriasis (whipworm), hookworm, schistosomiasis (snail fever), lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), trachoma and onchocerciasis (river blindness). Roundworm, whipworm and hookworm are also known as soil-transmitted helminth infections (STHs). These seven NTDs represent 90 percent of the global burden of all NTDs and infect more than one billion people. Controlling and eliminating these seven NTDs as public health threats will help empower a generation to lift themselves out of poverty.

How are people affected by NTDs?
NTDs cause blindness, huge swelling in appendages and limbs, severe malnutrition and anemia. They are a leading factor in pregnancy complications, they prevent children from attending school and they keep adults from working. Without treatment, NTDs trap families and communities in a cycle of disease and poverty.
 

How do people get NTDs?
NTDs can be transmitted in a variety of ways including through mosquitoes, flies and other insects and contact with contaminated soil and water. As a result, people get NTDs just by doing everyday activities like playing outside, swimming, doing laundry and planting crops.

How much does NTD treatment cost?
For approximately 50 cents per year, we can treat and protect one person from all seven NTDs

Why is the goal 2020? Can we really end seven NTDs by 2020?
The global health community, led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has identified the year 2020 as an aggressive, attainable target for eliminating and controlling the seven most common NTDs. It is a realistic goal because medicines that treat and prevent these diseases exist and are often donated by pharmaceutical companies. Transporting the medicines, training local health care workers and program monitoring and evaluation are the primary costs that need to be covered.

Does treating NTDs take away resources from HIV/AIDS, malaria and other global health issues?
Definitely not. People who are co-infected with NTDs and other diseases often experience worse symptoms because NTDs weaken the immune system. Treating NTDs at the same time as other illnesses can reduce program costs and improve overall health outcomes. Evidence also suggests that the presence of NTDs increases the risk for infection with HIV and tuberculosis, making NTD treatment an important way to reduce transmission rates of other diseases.
 
What is the END7 Campaign?
END7 is a global advocacy campaign run by the Global Network to raise awareness of the seven most common NTDs and cultivate the resources necessary to eliminate them as public health threats by 2020. We provide the opportunity for individuals to directly help people in need—for just 50 cents per year, supporters can help treat and protect one person from the seven most common NTDs. With enough populist support for this major health issue, the END7 campaign will call upon global political and philanthropic leaders, as well as national governments in endemic countries, to make the modest funding commitments to help cut the transmission cycles of these diseases.
 

How is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation involved with the Global Network?
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided a grant to the Global Network to support the WHO’s NTD work, create regional funding mechanisms for NTD programs and raise the profile of NTDs among the general public, key influencers and decision makers.

Where does the money donated to the Global Network go?
A grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation currently helps to cover the majority of our operational and fundraising costs, meaning that more than 90 percent of donations to the Global Network go directly to programs that treat and prevent NTD infections, as well as to support advocacy efforts for the integration of NTDs into existing global health initiatives and international aid budgets.

Where can I find out more information?
Visit www.globalnetwork.org for more information on the Global Network and the seven most common NTDs. You can learn more about END7 by visiting www.end7.org, by joining our communities on Facebook, Twitter (@END_7) or YouTube.