48 days to the start of the 2016 Grand to Grand Ultra…
My participation in multi-stage desert races around the world provides me with an opportunity to raise awareness and support for non-profit organisations and social causes making a difference in society, especially in Africa.
Founded in 2012, the END Fund is a private philanthropic initiative which aims to combat the five most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Together, these diseases cause up to 90% of the NTD disease burden in sub-Saharan Africa. Globally, more than 1.6 billion people are affected by one or more of the most common NTDs.
The END Fund’s response to NTDs focusses on mobilising and directing resources to where they can have maximum impact, with a special emphasis on Africa; advocating for innovative, integrated and cost-effective NTD programmes; and facilitating private sector engagement in the fight against NTDs.
The END Fund, in collaboration with government partners and local NGOs, treats NTDs by following a proven implementation model that is tailored to meet the needs of individual countries. Successful implementation involves understanding the scale of the problem and designing a robust mass drug administration (MDA) campaign targeted to reach and treat the right people. It is a process that catalyses resources, builds capacity among health professionals, and mobilises communities to distribute medicines for maximum impact at minimal cost.
Today, the END Fund is recognised as a leader in the global health movement dealing with NTDs, working collaboratively with committed partners, including global health organisations, funders and investors, pharmaceutical companies, leaders from developing countries affected by NTDs, and those who suffer from the diseases themselves.
The achievements of the END Fund in its four years of existence are remarkable. It has supported a wide range of partners in 22 countries, with the majority in Africa, provided treatment to over 85 million people at risk of NTDs, completed disease mapping for over 180 million people, distributed over $300 million worth of critical medicines, and provided surgery to thousands of people with advanced trachoma to prevent them from going blind. Studies have confirmed that for every dollar invested in NTD control, at least $50 is returned in increased economic impact over time, a return on investment unparalleled in global health.
But these numbers alone don’t tell the full story of the END Fund’s unique contribution to the global effort in response to NTDs. The wider impact and significance of the END Fund’s contribution is best described by its CEO, Ellen Elgar, in her foreword to the 2015 Annual Report:
“The intention embedded in the founding of the END Fund was not only to catalyze new, private philanthropic resources to control NTDs globally, but also to build a highly connected, engaged community of people who care deeply about this cause. Perhaps we should more accurately be called the END Community, as certainly financial resources have mattered in this bold endeavor, but just as important are the insight, commitment, intellect, vision, and entire range of personal and professional assets that each of you bring to the cause.”
This is a very inspiring story, and I’m proud to be associated with the END Fund as part of my participation in the 2016 Grand to Grand Ultra.
I’m using the period before and during the race to raise public awareness about NTDs, highlight the work of the END Fund, and mobilise $10 000 in support of the END Fund’s work in Africa.
I invite you to support my fundraising campaign and encourage others to do the same.
The countdown to the Grand to Grand Ultra continues…
I am dedicating my participation in the Grand to Grand Ultra to the work of the END Fund. Its mission is to control and eliminate the most prevalent neglected diseases among the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people by 2020.
Together, we can END NTDs!