We have the tools available to end these diseases, and we can do it in our lifetime. Unlike many other global health problems we face today, the solution is relatively simple. For just 50 cents, we can provide a person with treatment against seven NTDs for an entire year.
This innovative approach must serve as a model for solving other global development challenges and will help millions of people build self-sufficiency and overcome the need for aid.
— Bill Gates in the London Declaration Press Release
Treatment through Mass Drug Administration
At the Global network, we support an integrated treatment approach, known as the rapid-impact package, which treats the seven most common NTDs through a combination of four drugs.
Mass drug administration – or MDA – is the administration of medicine to entire populations in at-risk communities in order to prevent, control and eliminate disease. This is different from many other diseases, which must be diagnosed by a health care worker.
MDAs can occur annually or several times a year until an area is free of the disease. Some of the seven most common NTDs can be treated with a single drug, while others require a combination of several drugs.
The rapid-impact package is an inexpensive, safe and simple dose that is easily implemented and helps streamline NTD control efforts. This integrated approach is also highly cost-effective. Armed with four drugs, three of which are donated, major treatment efforts can integrate control of the seven most common NTDs.
Pharmaceutical Industry Partnerships
The high commitment of many international partners is a major strength in the fight against NTDs. In recent decades, the pharmaceutical industry has amassed an impressive track record of partnering with non-governmental organizations on large-scale treatment campaigns for diseases of poverty.
The pill donations themselves are valued at more than US $1 billion and represent the largest drug donations in history, and pharmaceutical companies have continued to increase their commitments, notably through the London Declaration on NTDs in January 2012.
This long-term commitment to NTD control by the pharmaceutical industry has reduced programmatic costs so that pills can be distributed for approximately50 cents per person, per year, a best buy in public health.
Sustainability is critical in the ongoing fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Our collaborators and public-private partners work with local governments, schools, healthcare systems and organizations to deliver medications to those suffering from NTDs. Some of the most effective delivery solutions come through community-led efforts, particularly community health workers.