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Ascend Lot 1 — The diseases we work on

The UK Aid-funded Accelerating the Sustainable Control and Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (Ascend) programme is working to improve the lives of millions of people living with neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

Lot 1 of the programme is working to treat and prevent five diseases in particular, in turn contributing towards their elimination in the countries we work in. They are:

Onchocerciasis (also known as river blindness)
A parasitic worm infection transmitted by infected blackflies, causing severe itching, disfiguring skin conditions, and visual impairment, including permanent blindness.

A bacterial eye infection spread through personal contact, with repeated infections causing permanent damage and vision loss. It is the leading cause of infectious blindness worldwide.

Schistosomiasis (also known as bilharzia)
An infection spread by parasitic worms found in freshwater that enter the body and lay eggs, which become trapped in tissues, causing damage.

Lymphatic Filariasis (also known as elephantiasis)
A parasitic infection spread through the bite of infected mosquitoes, causing tissue swelling and thickening that can lead to permanent disability.

Visceral Leishmaniasis (also known as Kala Azar)
A parasitic infection spread through the bite of infected sandflies, causing fever, weight loss, enlargement of the spleen and liver, and anaemia.