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USAID's NTD Program
USAID's NTD Program

USAID Awards New Flagship Project “Envision” for Neglected Tropical Diseases

In 2006, USAID launched its first-ever integrated program to target the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). This major endeavor was one of the first global efforts to integrate existing disease-specific treatment programs for the control and elimination of seven NTDs that can be targeted with preventive chemotherapy, including lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), onchocerciasis (river blindness), schistosomiasis (snail fever), three soil-transmitted helminths (hookworm, roundworm, and whipworm), and trachoma.

For the past five years, the NTD Control Program, managed by RTI, has not only demonstrated that disease-specific programs can be integrated to achieve programmatic and cost efficiencies, but it has also shown that such programs can be successfully scaled up to achieve national-scale coverage of all at-risk individuals, an approach that is leading to the successful control and elimination of the targeted diseases.

Since the launch of USAID’s NTD Control Program in 2006, more than 447 million NTD treatments have been provided to more than 82 million people. The program is complemented by major commitments from several pharmaceutical partners that donate the vast majority of the required drugs. More than $2.8 billion of medicines have been donated over the past five years through the pharmaceutical donation programs of GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Inc., and Pfizer to the countries in which USAID is supporting implementation of NTD control.

Building on this tremendous success, USAID’s Bureau for Global Health awarded Envision (the follow-on to the NTD Control Program) on September 26, 2011, to RTI. Envision is a five-year Cooperative Agreement, with a $240 million ceiling, that covers the period of October 1, 2011 to September 29, 2016. For the Envision project, RTI has partnered with CBM, Helen Keller International, IMA World Health, Sightsavers International, The Carter Center, Tulane University, and World Vision.

Under Envision, USAID will continue to support and expand NTD control and elimination in priority countries and will further the development of evidence-based policies and standards globally. Envision will provide USAID and the Bureau for Global Health with assistance in supporting NTD-endemic countries to scale up NTD control to reduce the burden of USAID’s seven priority NTDs.