Neglected Tropical Diseases

More than 1 billion people worldwide suffer from one or more painful, debilitating tropical diseases which disproportionately impact poor and rural populations, cause severe sickness and disability, compromise mental and physical development, contribute to childhood malnutrition, reduce school enrollment, and hinder economic productivity. Seven of these neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) can be controlled and treated through targeted mass drug administration (MDA). Treatment of at-risk populations for 4-6 years can lead to elimination or control of these diseases.

  • Lymphatic Filariasis (Elephantiasis)
  • Onchocerciasis (River Blindness)
  • Schistosomiasis (Snail Fever)
  • Soil Transmitted Helminthes – Round Worm, Whip Worm, Hook Worm
  • Trachoma

What we do

USAID’s integrated NTD Program began in 2006 in response to a Congressional earmark of $15 million per year. To date, $301 million has been appropriated to the NTD Program. USAID’s NTD Program represents one of the first global efforts to integrate existing disease-specific treatment programs for the control of these diseases. Integration has allowed for better drug donation/procurement coordination, decreased costs, and improved efficiencies.

USAID’s NTD Program emphasizes country ownership. Host-country governments are the owners and managers of their national NTD program with USAID’s support focusing on filling strategic technical and financial gaps to enable the host country to utilize existing platforms to deliver cost-effective treatments to all at risk communities. USAID supports country-level platforms and approaches for NTD control that are consistent with the technical guidelines and policies of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Where we work

Neglected Tropical Diseases Fact Sheet: Where we Work


NTD Program Highlights 2006 - 2012

584.6 million treatments

258 million people reached (cumulative)

$3.1 billion in donated drugs

23 country programs progressing towards disease control and elimination

This highly successful Program is making a large-scale, cost-effective contribution to the global effort to reduce the economic and epidemiological burden of NTDs. USAID provides critical funding to allow countries to distribute drugs safely and effectively and to scale up treatment to reach national coverage, working towards control and/or elimination of these diseases. The Program has expanded to include 23 countries and has delivered over 584 million treatments to 258 million people cumulatively since 2006. This success far exceeds the Program’s initial targets.


USAID collaborates with a wide variety of partners to implement the NTD Program. These partners include host country governments, non-governmental organizations, bilateral partners, faith-based organizations, UN organizations, the private sector, foundations, and many others throughout the world at the global, regional, and country levels.

The NTD Program relies heavily on generous drug donations from pharmaceutical donation programs. Over $3.1 billion worth of drugs for NTD control have been donated by the pharmaceutical industry to the countries where USAID supported MDA campaigns. Four of the drugs needed to treat NTDs, albendazole, mebendazole, Mectizan® and Zithromax®, are donated by GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Pfizer, respectively. USAID coordinates closely with these pharmaceutical partners, leveraging their drug donations for USAID-supported MDAs and extending the reach of the donation programs.

Neglected Tropical Diseases Fact Sheet: treatment
Source: Albis Cabrelle

For more information on USAID's NTD Program, please visit

Neglected Tropical Diseases Fact Sheet (PDF, 301 KB)

Last updated: September 18, 2012

Share This Page