Funding for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) seeks to eliminate NTDs, a group of parasitic, bacterial, and viral diseases. Programming focuses on community-wide administration of safe and effective medicines, emphasizing drug administration, morbidity management, disability prevention, and research.
What does it buy?
Funds prioritize supporting country-led, sustainable programming, such as mapping disease-endemic areas, delivering safe and effective medicines, strengthening surveillance, and advancing life-saving research. NTD funding helps distribute treatment and supports countries plan, implement, and finance efforts to end NTDs.
Why is it important?
NTDs contribute to global poverty by impairing intellectual development in children, reducing school enrollment, and hindering economic productivity by limiting infected individuals’ ability to work.
According to USAID, “Neglected tropical diseases are intricately linked to poverty and inequality. They pose a crushing burden, particularly on the poorest, most marginalized and hard to reach populations.”
Since its start in 2006, the NTD program has supported the distribution of 2.6 billion safe and effective treatments to more than 1.3 billion people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
The program targets the most prevalent NTDs with proven, cost-effective health interventions—addressing elephantiasis, blinding trachoma, river blindness, snail fever, hookworm, and roundworm.
Over 1 billion people, or one-sixth of the global population, suffer from one or more NTDs, and two billion more are at risk. Each year, approximately 185,000 people die of NTDs.
Every $1 invested by the U.S. government leverages $26 in donated medicines for mass treatment campaigns.
Why should Americans care?
U.S. investments leverage private sector donations. Every $1 invested from the U.S. government leverages $26 in donated medicines for mass treatment campaigns, totaling $19 billion in value.
COVID-19 has brought NTD programs to a near-complete halt. As of April 2020, the World Health Organization recommended postponing all community outreach campaigns, including mass drug administration, community-based surveys, and active case finding for NTDs, threatening to erase years of progress.
What more could be done?
A total investment of $125 million would maximize the benefits of increased drug donations received from pharmaceutical companies to ensure that all countries supported by USAID’s program can reach a national scale.
The investment would allow USAID to support five to seven countries where three to five NTDs are present, invest in new diagnostics to inform program operations, and provide 20 to 30 million more treatments in Africa by leveraging an estimated $1 billion more in drug donations.
Funding levels may not accurately reflect those in the appropriations bills and/or reports due to rounding.