The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases' END7 campaign and Helen Keller International are teaming up to raise awareness and resources to eliminate lymphatic filariasis (also known as elephantiasis), a neglected tropical disease (NTD) that puts a terrible burden on the population of Sierra Leone.
Most people have never heard of lymphatic filarias (LF), but this neglected tropical disease (NTD) along with six other NTDs impact nearly one in six people around the world, including half a billion children. Nearly everyone living in Sierra Leone is at risk for contracting one or more of these diseases, particularly LF. Spread by mosquitoes, LF is painful and disabling, causing severe swelling of the arms and legs and preventing people from working and taking care of their families.
A simple packet of pills costing only 12 cents can treat and protect one person from elephantiasis (and five other NTDs endemic in Sierra Leone) for a full year. The program has the unique ability to provide treatment for even less than the cost of the average NTD campaign, which is still one of the most cost-effective investments in public health at 50 cents per person annually. With your help, we can provide treatment and public awareness to more than 1.5 million people in the country.
2012 marks the third year of mass drug administration of antibiotics to treat elephantiasis in Sierra Leone. If the program has sufficient resources to support it for the next five years, Sierra Leone should be able to eliminate the disease! As a result, children will be able to reach their full potential, parents can focus on taking care of their families, and entire communities will be empowered to lift themselves out of poverty.