Communities of practice
New funding will target wide range of neglected infections in the Americas
14 Sep 2009
Source: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) (see original article)
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) – together with the Pan American Health Organization and the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases – is planning a comprehensive effort to fight infectious diseases of poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean. Specific diseases that IDB has said it will target include: Chagas-disease, dengue, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, soil-transmitted helminthiases, schistosomiasis, rabies and trachoma.
More than 47 million people in the region are at risk or are being affected by such diseases. Those most at risk are the poorest members of society and people of African descent.
The Board of the IDB has approved a co-financing agreement with the Sabin Vaccine Institute, which will create a new lending facility to support actions by both governmental and nongovernmental bodies. The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases at the Sabin Vaccine Institute will provide $2.5 million to the IDB over the next two years to develop and launch the facility. The funds are part of a larger grant the Global Network received earlier this year from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The new facility will provide grants to support mass drug administration, preventive chemotherapy and conduct other cost-effective interventions. It will provide technical assistance to strengthen national and local health information systems and foster cooperation among different sectors of society and existing health and social programmes.
“The IDB is taking a very important step to help the region put an end to these preventable and controllable diseases of poverty,” IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno said. “These afflictions have a debilitating effect on social and economic development. They disproportionately affect the poor and cause chronic illnesses that prevent millions of people from working and earning a decent level of income.”
Under the technical cooperation agreement, together with its partners, the IDB will develop the architecture, governance and operational arrangements for the new facility, which will be funded by donations from governments, foundations, private sector entities and multi and bilateral aid agencies. The Bank will work closely with the Global Network for the Neglected Tropical Diseases and the Pan-American Health Organization to set up partnerships, raise awareness to fight tropical diseases and mobilize resources for the new facility.
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