(MENAFN Press) BAMAKO, Mali - Thursday, November 1st 2012
The Ministry of Health and Helen Keller International to treat NTD's in Mali; END Fund thanks those who came together to make it possible
The END Fund, the world's first private philanthropic initiative to combat the seven most common Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), announced today that much-needed treatment and prevention drugs will be distributed to millions of Malians affected by NTDs.
The END Fund exceeded its goal of raising the necessary 1.2 million USD to re-start the suspended mass drug administration (MDA). Helen Keller International, working alongside the Malian Ministry of Health, is leading the efforts to ensure the donated medicines are delivered to the communities at risk. The announcement was made today outside of Bamako during a Ministry of Health MDA launch ceremony.
The END Fund mobilized a group of mining companies and foundations for the emergency fundraising effort. The Mali Gold Mining Consortium, led by Randgold Resources, Vitol Foundation/Vivo Energy Mali, The Legatum Foundation, and Razoo came together to ensure almost 12 million children and adults in Mali at risk of NTD's will now get the treatment they've been waiting for.
"We are grateful to our partners, especially to Randgold Resources for their significant and sustained leadership in bringing together a broad consortium of gold mining companies to support this cause, as well as to the Vitol Foundation, who took an inspiring and early role to fill this funding gap," said Ellen Agler, CEO of The END Fund.
Ms. Agler continued, "Treating a child can dramatically improve the trajectory of their lives. In this instance, when political circumstances required the international aid organization to step back in Mali, the private sector stepped forward to fill the gap. These companies made a huge effort to better the lives of the Malian population which will have a lasting effect on the communities treated. Without their generosity millions of children and adults wouldn't be getting the help they need."
This is the first time such a diverse private sector consortium has rallied around the NTD cause. The mining companies who provided significant contributions to the effort include: Randgold Resources, AngloGold Ashanti, IAMGOLD, Resolute Mining LTD, Gold Fields, AVION Gold Corporation, Forbes & Manhattan, and African Mining & Exploration PLC. This funding partnership demonstrates the commitment by the corporate sector working in Mali to contribute to the health and welfare of the Malian people.
NTDs such as river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, blinding trachoma and intestinal worms impede children's ability to grow and attend school, cause long-term disfigurement and blindness, and keep the poorest of the poor trapped in a cycle of poverty. The Mali NTD integrated program was launched in 2007 with generous funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and achieved tremendous success in reducing prevlance and incidence of these NTDs.
The END Fund and its partners have disbursed over 40 million treatments over the last four years, providing it with a unique and unrivaled experience in supporting NTD programs. For more information about The END Fund, or to become a pioneer in transforming millions of lives in Africa, please go to www.endfund.org.