Paving the way to end two devastating neglected tropical diseases: River blindness and lymphatic filariasis
The Reaching the Last Mile Fund (RLMF) is paving the way to end two devastating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) – river blindness and lymphatic filariasis (LF).
While NTDs are rare in wealthy countries, they pose an ever-present threat in poor countries, where people often suffer from more than one NTD at once. These countries face poor access to clean water, limited healthcare services and environmental changes due to climate change – challenges that exacerbate the spread of those diseases while also keeping communities trapped in poverty.
people are at risk for river blindness worldwide, 99% of them in Africa
people around the world require preventative chemotherapy for LF
the estimated annual cost caused by impairment from LF
About river blindness
Onchocerciasis, or river blindness, is an eye and skin disease caused by a parasitic worm and transmitted through exposure to repeated bites from infected blackflies. The parasitic disease occurs mainly in tropical areas, with more than 99% of infected people living in 31 African countries.
About lymphatic filariasis
Lymphatic filariasis (LF) causes painful and visible disfigurations, including grossly enlarged limbs, and can lead to permanent disability. Infection occurs when filarial parasites are transmitted to humans through mosquitoes. It is usually acquired in childhood, causing hidden damage to the lymphatic system. LF can be eliminated by stopping the spread of infection through preventive chemotherapy.
“The UAE, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, continues to provide regional and international support for humanitarian, developmental and health initiatives that target countries and communities in need. The launch of this Fund is part of international efforts to rid the world of two debilitating and preventable diseases.”
- His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi