The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) officially launched its Act to End NTDs - West on 14 November in Accra, Ghana.
The USD$200 million program aims to control or eliminate trachoma, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths (including hookworm, roundworm and whipworm) in 11 West African countries including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
"This new investment is significant as it will expand and strengthen integrated NTD plans in 11 countries that are known to have a high burden of NTDs", said Serge Resnikoff, Chair of the International Coalition for Trachoma Control. "We thank USAID for their continued partnership with the NTD community. These diseases have profoundly negative affects on the health and livelihoods of the people who they affect. This investment will help to accelerate progress towards the World Health Organizations NTD targets of controlling and eliminating these diseases by 2020".
This investment will help to accelerate progress towards the World Health Organizations NTD targets of controlling and eliminating these diseases by 2020
FHI 360, will lead a consortium of partners in the implementation of the program. Partners include the Aim Initiative, Americares, Deloitte, Health Development International, Helen Keller International and World Vision. USAID has also announced that there will be a Act to END NTDs East award, which will include a different subset of focal countries and partners and program objectives.
The launch of Act to END NTDs West comes as governments, partners and donors gathered to celebrate the conclusion of USAID’s END in Africa project. End in Africa was an eight-year project that supported national health ministries and other government entities in West Africa to scale up local integrated NTD control activities and supported disease surveillance.
The End in Africa project provided more than 464 million NTD treatments to over 221 million people in Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, Sierra Leone, and Togo and contributed to the elimination of trachoma as a public health problem in Ghana and the elimination of lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem in Togo.