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USAID extends RTI International-led program to eliminate neglected tropical diseases around the world

The program supports 13 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – The U.S. Agency for International Development has awarded a three-year extension to RTI International, a nonprofit research institute and leading international development organization, to continue a global program eliminating neglected tropical diseases through proven, cost-effective public health interventions.

USAID’s Act to End NTDs | East program supports countries to deliver treatments, monitor progress, and ensure their health systems can sustain NTD services. The program supports 13 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to achieve targets for controlling and eliminating lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis (also known as river blindness), trachoma, schistosomiasis, and soil-transmitted helminth infections.

This extension continues the USAID Act to End NTDs | East program until September 2026 and increases the program’s ceiling by $125 million, for a total of more than $420 million over eight years, which will directly support governments in achieving their NTD goals.

Extension of the program provides further support to countries advancing toward World Health Organization global NTD goals, including 90% fewer people needing interventions by 2030.

“RTI has led NTD efforts with USAID for more than 15 years. We are at an exciting inflection point where elimination is within reach for many countries after decades of treatment and monitoring efforts,” said Tim Gabel, president and CEO of RTI. “Dedicated and coordinated action by the global NTD community in support of countries has made this possible, and we are proud to be a part of this progress and global partnership.” 

Since 2018, USAID’s Act to End NTDs | East program has helped countries deliver more than 146 million treatments to people living in NTD endemic areas and train more than 250,000 people to effectively provide NTD services. These results build on USAID’s longstanding support for eliminating NTDs, notably through the former USAID ENVISION project, which was also led by RTI.

“This extension enables the program to help countries achieve sustainability of their NTD elimination efforts, including strengthening health system capacity,” said Lisa Rotondo, director for USAID’s Act to End NTDs | East program. “We are proud to be a part of the journey in improving health to ensure their populations can thrive. The task now is to ensure NTD services are reaching all people, including those often missed with health services, to make long-term elimination a reality.” 

USAID’s Act to End NTDs | East Program is implemented by RTI International in partnership with The Carter Center, Fred Hollows Foundation, Light for the World, Results for Development, Save the Children, Sightsavers, and WI-HER.

Read more about RTI's work in NTDs.