BENSHEIM, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Simple treatments can protect people from Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), which, if left untreated, lead to disabilities, including blindness and disfiguration. Christian Blind Mission (CBM) recently celebrated the milestone of the 600 millionth dose of medicines to protect communities from NTDs. Ten-year-old Surayya in Nigeria was the recipient of this historic dose and is now protected. But more needs to be done: On the occasion of the World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day (30 January), CBM reaffirms its commitment to stay the course and calls on partners to join them in the fight against NTDs.
Surayya is ten years old and lives in Jigawa State, Nigeria, with her parents and her younger brother. Nigeria is endemic for lymphatic filariasis, also known as LF, putting millions of people at risk for the disease. LF is one of the 20 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). It is particularly widespread in tropical regions around the world. Transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito, it often severely disfigures those affected. Symptoms include abnormally enlarged body parts, more commonly known as " Elephentiasis”. These deformities are not only frightening and painful, they often lead to exclusion and poverty.
Medicines and more
Surayya has always lived with the danger of being affected by LF. But that does not have to be the case: because preventive medication can protect her, her family, and friends. That is why CBM has been distributing donated tablets against this and other NTDs for decades. They act like a strong shield and, when administered regularly, protect people from these diseases. Surayya received Mectizan (donated by Merck & Co. Inc., Rahway, NJ) and albendazole (donated by GSK) to protect her against LF.
Besides the preventive drug distributions, CBM’s partners support community members with NTD morbidities through physiotherapy and hygiene measures. This alleviates their pain. Partners also raise awareness at the community-level so that those affected are no longer stigmatised. CBM trains health workers and ensures that community members have access to clean water and sanitary facilities – all of which helps in the fight against neglected tropical diseases. In Nigeria, CBM has been involved in the comprehensive fight against NTDs for more than 45 years.
CBM needs your support in the fight against NTDs
What is still missing is more investments in the fight against NTDs. 1.7 billion people worldwide are threatened by these diseases and urgently need our support, just like Surayya.
Christian Blind Mission (CBM) is one of the leading international organisations for inclusive development cooperation. It supports people with disabilities in the poorest countries of the world - and has been doing so for more than 110 years. Together with its local partners, it ensures that the lives of people with disabilities are fundamentally and permanently improved. It provides medical aid and advocates for equal participation in society. The goal is an inclusive world in which people with and without disabilities can contribute their abilities and no one is left behind. Last year, CBM supported 492 projects in 46 countries. More at www.cbm.org.