46 days to the start of the 2016 Grand to Grand Ultra …
Sub-Saharan Africa bears over 40% of the global burden of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The five most common NTDs – lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), onchocerciasis (river blindness), schistosomiasis (bilharzia), soil-transmitted helminths (intestinal worms) and trachoma – account for 90% of the region’s NTD burden.
At least one of these diseases is present in all 47 countries of the World Health Organisation’s African region, and their impact on both the health and economic development of the continent is massive. NTDs cause disabilities and disfigurements for millions of African citizens, increase absenteeism in schools and dramatically reduce labour productivity, ultimately perpetuating historical cycles of poverty.
Eliminating NTDs, and thereby reducing their devastating impact, will therefore have far-reaching positive implications for Africa.
A study conducted by Erasmus University projects that Sub-Saharan Africa could save $52 billion (purchasing power parity) by 2030 if the region meets the World Health Organisation’s 2020 control and elimination targets for the five most common NTDs.
Meeting these goals could also help the region gain the equivalent of 100 million life-years that would otherwise be lost to ill health, disability and early death arising from these diseases.
On an individual country level, Nigeria could save nearly $12 billion and Kenya nearly $2 billion (Sh200 billion) in the next 15 years.
These statistics should inspire everyone involved in the fight against NTDs to intensify and accelerate their efforts. It also highlights the important role and contribution of organisations such as the END Fund and reason why their efforts require increased support.
I’m using my participation in the Grand to Grand Ultra 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.
Follow updates on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, fundraising page, and via the END Fund’s various online platforms.
Together, we can END NTDs!
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