Educating and convincing political leaders of the importance of NTD funding takes a lot of time. We meet regularly with policymakers in the U.S., highlighting the role that NTDs play in development issues. We advocate for greater funding contributions from donor countries, participate in major global health conferences, and encourage governments of endemic countries to prioritize NTD treatment for their populations.
Over the past few years, the United States and the United Kingdom have committed more than $300 million of funding toward the control and elimination of NTDs. This is a significant contribution, but there is still a sizeable gap in funding required to treat NTDs. Our goal is to help policymakers around the world see the importance of NTD programs and commit the funding and programs required to eliminate these diseases as a major public health threat for poor communities.
The partnership developed over the last few years between the Global Network and PAHO and the Inter-American Development Bank has led to significant gains for a number of Latin America’s most vulnerable populations. Together we have supported several countries to design and carry out needed surveys for NTDs in neglected communities, map and model diseases, develop national integrated plans of action for NTDs and obtain deworming tablets to help keep many young children healthier and in school.
—Steven K. Ault, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)