The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Disease Control (GNNTDC) announced today that it has been awarded an $8.9 million USD grant via Geneva Global Inc. to fund a campaign to control and eliminate seven neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in two East African countries, Rwanda and Burundi. The grant, the largest single grant from a Geneva Global client, will be used to develop a “rapid-impact” treatment program that will be rolled out in both countries during the summer of 2007. NTDs are disfiguring and life-threatening parasitic and bacterial infections that afflict and stigmatize more than 1 billion people living in the most impoverished areas of the developing world. These easily treatable diseases, such as schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis and trachoma, largely forgotten in richer countries, prevent hundreds of millions of people from building a better future for themselves and their families. The GNNTDC is a global network of major health organizations dedicated to helping control and eliminate the most prevalent NTDs through a program of advocacy, resource mobilization and access to essential drugs and vaccines.
Despite the billions of people affected by NTDs and widespread devastation they cause, the diseases are generally overshadowed in terms of visibility and resource commitment by the “big three” – HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The “rapid-impact” protocol, treatment and prevention of NTDs is cost-effective (an estimated $0.50 USD per person per year) and can immediately improve both quality of life and economic opportunities for afflicted individuals, families, villages and nations.
One of the partners of GNNTDC, Professor Alan Fenwick, O.B.E., Ph.D, is the principal investigator for the Geneva Global grant and played an instrumental role in facilitating the process. Fenwick, Director of the London-based Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, Imperial College, said, “This grant will provide us with the funding to affect lasting positive change in both Rwanda and Burundi by following World Health Organization guidelines for treatment. We will target seven diseases: trachoma, hookworm, ascaris, trichuris, onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis and schistosomiasis. The network extends its deepest appreciation to the tremendous team at Geneva Global and to their clients for helping us to combat and control NTDs in these two countries and improve millions of lives.”
“NTDs can be prevented, enabling people to build a future for themselves and their families. In Rwanda and Burundi and throughout the developing world, grants to control NTDs can yield a tremendous return for philanthropic investors. We’re proud to work with clients who are seizing the opportunity to combat these preventable diseases that aren’t in the headlines. This grant will provide hope and life-altering treatments to the poorest of the poor,” said Steve Beck, CEO of Geneva Global Inc.
“This grant is an important step in our efforts to rid the world of NTDs, diseases that can be controlled and eliminated at a relatively inexpensive cost, but still continue to plague billions of the world’s poorest people,” stated Peter Hotez, M.D., Ph.D, GNNTDC chairman and professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine at The George Washington University and Chairman of the Sabin Vaccine Institute Scientific Advisory Committee. “We are grateful to Geneva Global Inc. and are excited to roll out the "rapidimpact" program in Rwanda and Burundi where we expect to see an immediate and profoundly positive impact on the health, social and economic well-being of the people from both of these nations.”
“We are excited to work with the GNNTDC and we’re confident that its comprehensive program and integrated approach of working with both local Ministries of Health and community-based organizations will generate sustainable results in both countries,” added Mark Forshaw, Health Sector Manager at Geneva Global Inc. Each of GNNTDC’s partners has a successful track record of working alongside the Ministries of Health and country partners in the administration of mass treatments for NTDs and in the development of new vaccines. They include: the Sabin Vaccine Institute’s Human Hookworm Vaccine Initiative; Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, Imperial College of London; International Trachoma Initiative; Lymphatic Filariasis Support Centre, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine; The Task Force for Child Survival and Development; Helen Keller International and The Earth Institute, Columbia University.
Attached file: Geneva Global Grant to Global Network for NTDs
Geneva Global Inc. Awards $8.9 Million Grant to the Global Network