More than one billion people are at-risk for painful diseases that hinder their potential and productivity.
Eight years ago, the United States dared to envision a world free from many of these diseases.
Today, that world is within reach.
As a group of parasitic and bacterial illnesses, neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affect the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. They often cause pain, disfigurement, and disability; but they are also preventable and often treatable with early detection.
In 2011, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched ENVISION, a global flagship initiative to help endemic countries fight NTDs and tapped RTI International to lead the project.
It was a bold endeavor at the time. Yes, ENVISION would carry forward NTD-fighting work that the U.S. had started back in 2006. But it would also take a bigger leap: ENVISION would grow to support 19 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean to not just fight NTDs, but to back country-driven goals to control or even eliminate them.
Since then, we haven’t looked back.
In partnership with national Ministries of Health and Education, ENVISION has strengthened national NTD programs, increased the reach of treatment to those that need it, and supported the tracking of progress.
Over the past eight years, we have told stories about many moments—big and seemingly small—in the global fight against NTDs. We’ve celebrated with Nepal, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam as they achieved elimination of lymphatic filariasis and/or trachoma. We also shared stories of individuals like Francis, Bijaya, Khady, Dorothy, and many more, whose lives and communities have been impacted by NTDs and the efforts to combat them.
As the project draws to a close, we’re launching a campaign to tell the story of ENVISION’s achievements since its debut in 2011. It’s the story of how
- More than 1.4 billion NTD treatments have been delivered with ENVISION support.
- 43 percent of people who were at-risk for lymphatic filariasis (LF)—more than 230 million people—no longer have to worry about this disabling and disfiguring disease.
- 41 percent of people living in endemic areas—more than 86 million people—are no longer at-risk for trachoma, the world’s leading cause of preventable blindness.
- More than 6 million people are no longer at risk for onchocerciasis, also known as river blindness, and three ENVISION-supported countries—Mali, Nigeria and Uganda—have districts that stopped treatment for the illness.
- More than 446 million NTD treatments have been provided to school-aged children—many of these to treat worm infections such as schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths.
As a result of these impacts, many ENVISION-supported countries are on track to reach their control and elimination goals for NTDs within the next five years.