WASHINGTON, D.C. — January 14, 2015 — India was certified polio-free in 2014. Today, the country has its sights set on another public health victory: the elimination of lymphatic filariasis, a neglected tropical disease (NTD) that threatens nearly half of its population. To meet this ambitious goal, the Indian Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW) has launched one of the largest public health campaigns in India’s history to provide more than 400 million people with free medication that could protect them from lymphatic filariasis.
On June 11, 2014, Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced a bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives to support the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in the United States and abroad. H.R. 4847, the “End Neglected Tropical Diseases Act,” calls for the expansion of USAID’s NTD program; increased U.S. Government advocacy for NTDs among international development and financing institutions; reporting from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on NTDs in the United States; the creation of one or more NTD centers of excellence to increase research and development (R&D); and the establishment of a panel on intestinal worm infections, one of the most pervasive NTDs.
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