For Immediate Release
Niamey August 13, 2014 - The United States Government, acting through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announced that its program to fight against neglected tropical diseases has reached a cumulative total of one billion treatments against these diseases worldwide. This program has reached some of the most vulnerable populations in the world, including four hundred sixty-five million people in 25 countries.
Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a heterogeneous group of diseases that affect more than one billion people – one-sixth of the world’s population – including about 800 million children. These diseases can kill and frequently impair, blind or disfigure their victims, thus resulting in disastrous economic consequences for communities due to lost productivity and income. In Niger, neglected tropical diseases exist in all health districts of the country.
Since 2007, USAID has supported Niger to eliminate lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis and blinding trachoma, and to control schistosomiasis and intestinal worms. This has enabled Niger to be at the forefront amongst other African countries in the elimination of trachoma. To date, over one hundred fifteen million treatments against these diseases have been provided to Nigeriens with the support of USAID. This has allowed a very significant decline in these diseases once endemic in almost all districts of Niger.
“In Niger, despite the many health problems that the country faces, the Department of Public Health made the fight against the so-called ‘Neglected Tropical Diseases’ a priority. So, he did not neglect!” said Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of the United States to Niger, M. Richard Bell.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The USAID NTD program strives to control and eliminate five NTDs (lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminths and trachoma), which cause needless illness, suffering and disability in many of the world's most vulnerable communities. The program has supported the delivery of a billion treatments to over 465 million people in 25 countries. As a global leader in large-scale implementation of integrated NTD treatment programs, USAID provides some of the poorest citizens of the world an opportunity to have a full and productive life. For more information on the NTD program, please visit USAID http://www.neglecteddiseases.gov/.
Last updated: October 27, 2014