Background

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Program began in 2006, primarily focusing on five diseases – lymphatic filariasis, blinding trachoma, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, and soil transmitted helminths (hookworm, roundworm, and whipworm) – that could be eliminated or controlled through community-wide administration of safe and effective medicines.

A hallmark of the program has been the generous donation of billions of dollars in pharmaceuticals from a handful of companies; their donations of essential drugs have enabled USAID to focus its support on distributing these medicines to communities around the world and evaluating progress toward the elimination of these diseases.

Over the past 14 years, USAID has expanded to support 32 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In 2016, the USAID NTD Program celebrated its tenth anniversary in the fight against NTDs. To date, the program has leveraged more than $26 billion in donated medicines and provided more than 2.8 billion treatments. As a result of this program, more than 315 million people live in communities no longer requiring treatment for lymphatic filariasis, and 151 million people live in communities no longer requiring treatment for trachoma.