The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases announced today that up to $25,000 of a previous donation that actress Alyssa Milano pledged in the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), will be used to match the donations raised by the winning Campus Challenge university group campaign.

The Campus Challenge is a major component of Just 50 Cents, the Global Network’s signature grassroots campaign. The Campus Challenge is a contest which provides an opportunity for full-time undergraduate and graduate college students to become Student Ambassadors in the fight to prevent and eliminate the world’s most common NTDs. The contest, which was launched on November 2, 2009, will end on April 2, 2010.

By organizing a Just 50 Cents fundraising campaign in their school, workplace, or community, Student Ambassadors, whether leading an individual campaign or involved in a group campaign with university organizations, can have a tremendous impact in the fight to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people. A donation of just 50 cents per person, per year, is all it takes to provide treatment for the seven most common NTDs.

Now, thanks to Milano’s contribution, the university organization or group that raises the most money will win a matching donation of up to $25,000 in the university’s name towards NTD control efforts.

“The strong voice of college students is crucial to raising awareness and necessary funds to the control and prevention of NTDs,” said Milano. “I am happy that part of my donation is going towards the Just 50 Cents Campus Challenge, an innovative initiative that has the potential to significantly reduce the devastation caused by NTDs.”

About NTDs
NTDs are a group of 13 parasitic and bacterial infections that are the most common afflictions of the world’s poorest people. Spread by mechanisms as simple as a bite of an infected fly or contact with contaminated water, they blind, disable, disfigure and stigmatize their victims, trapping them in a cycle of poverty and disease. Research shows that treating NTDs lifts millions out of poverty by ensuring that children stay in school to learn and prosper; by strengthening worker productivity; and by improving maternal and child health.

About Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases
The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, headquartered at the Sabin Vaccine Institute, is committed to raising the profile of neglected tropical diseases and leveraging international resources to control and eliminate these debilitating diseases through effective, low-cost treatments. www.globalnetwork.org.

To learn more about the Global Network’s grassroots efforts including the Just 50 Cents Campus Challenge, visit http://globalnetwork.org/just50cents.


About Sabin Vaccine Institute
Sabin Vaccine Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing human suffering from infectious and neglected diseases. Through its efforts in vaccine research, development and advocacy, Sabin works to provide greater access to vaccines and essential medicines for millions stuck in pain, poverty and despair. For more information about Sabin’s research and commitment, visit: www.sabin.org.

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