USAID launches $300m program to tackle neglected tropical diseases in 13 countries

26 Apr 2019
Jeremiah Ngondi, a Master Grader with RTI International, examines a child's eyes for trachoma. Photo: RTI International

April 29 2019 - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has officially launched its Act to End NTDs |East program with an event in Kampala, Uganda.

The program, led by RTI International, provides USD$300 million to control or eliminate trachoma, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths (including hookworm, roundworm and whipworm) in 13 countries including Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Indonesia, Laos, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam.

Program partners at the opening event included members of the International Coalition for Trachoma Control, including The Carter Center, The Fred Hollows Foundation, IMA World Health, Light for the World and Sightsavers. The program is also being supported by Results for Development (R4D), Save the Children and WI-HER.

"This investment continues USAID’s long-standing support and commitment to NTD control and elimination and serving the world’s most vulnerable people", said Serge Resnikoff, Chair of the International Coalition for Trachoma Control. “The diversity of partners in the program, which includes experience in health, WASH and education, will ensure a comprehensive and holistic approach, which will accelerate progress towards several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG3 on ensuring healthy lives and well-being for all.” 

The launch of Act to End NTDs | East follows the launch of Act to End NTDs | West in November 2018. Act to End NTDs | West is a complimentary USAID program, led by FHI 360, targeting the same five NTDs in 11 West African countries including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

The Act to End NTDs |East program builds on the successes of USAID’s eight-year ENVISION project, which provides assistance to national NTD control and elimination programs in 19 countries and ends in September 2019.