Earlier today the UK government announced that it was increasing by five (5!!) fold its funding commitments to tackle the Neglected Tropical Diseases in the developing world. It has committed to increase its contributions to the NTDs to $380 million over four years. That may not sound like a lot of money relative to what is spent on HIV or malaria but for the group of diseases known as the NTDs, this is actually a lot of money. It probably means tens of millions of treatments against these diseases will be able to be delivered in the coming years.
Other donors have also recently announced significant increases to tackle these diseases, including Sight Savers, a charity that targets onchocerciasis, a leading cause of blindness globally among other vision related causes. And I’ve heard word that we should expect some big announcements, in particular from the Gates Foundation, in the next few weeks of more resources to be given to the NTDs.
So why are the NTDs doing so well at attracting funding in the current funding climate? Perhaps it has to do with the perceived and mostly demonstrated effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the interventions being proposed. Perhaps the fact that is is by nature an extremely equity enhancing set of diseases to go after (they tend to only affect the poorest of the poor). Perhaps it is the feeling that with proper scale up donor commitments might actually lead to elimination of these diseases. Or perhaps it has just been continued advocacy efforts from those who believe in the cause.
Regardless, it is good news, and I am looking forward to more good news in the coming weeks.Share on Facebook