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The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and Crown Agents join forces to accelerate the elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases across five African countries  /


London, UK. Work is commencing on the new Accelerate Resilient, Innovative, and Sustainable Elimination of NTDs (ARISE-NTDs) programme this September to support governments to control and eliminate three endemic Neglected Tropical Diseases from Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania and Zanzibar, and Zambia. $13.8 million of emergency funding has been provided by The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) to combat schistosomiasis, soil transmitted helminths and lymphatic filariasis. Those affected by these debilitating vector-borne diseases are infected through water contact, mosquitos bites and poor sanitation and hygiene.

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) have flourished in tropical regions since ancient times, with evidence of existence amongst Egyptian pharaohs. Today, over a billion people remain at risk of NTD infections. Such diseases thrive in impoverished environments and also strengthen the causal roots of poverty by causing malnutrition, cognitive impairment, disability and stigma. Yet, these diseases can be easily treated, with evidence of elimination having been seen in some countries – ending a vicious cycle of inequity.

The British not-for-profit international development company Crown Agents will be managing the ARISE-NTDs programme on behalf of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, in partnership with the global health consultancies Oriole Global Health and Abt Associates. The new programme will provide funding and technical support to Ministries of Health for precision mapping and impact surveys, as well as mass drug administration (MDA) campaigns.

Speaking about the new ARISE NTD programme, CIFF’s Africa NTD Director, Kebede Kassaye, said: “Our commitment is to continue to support at-risk communities by delivering 83 million cost-effective treatments against three different NTDs across 15 countries in Africa. This new joint investment is timely as it will continue disability-preventing surgeries, whilst strengthening health systems and building the health workforce in African countries.”

This prevention work is an expansion of Crown Agents’ global portfolio to tackle NTDs, which saw the company managing the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s recent programme to combat five diseases in 11 countries across East and Southern Africa and South Asia.

“We must take the ‘neglected’ out of Neglected Tropical Diseases,” says Crown Agents Chief Executive Officer, Fergus Drake.

“More needs to be done to accelerate the elimination of these diseases, especially as Covid-19 continues to threaten the progress of global health goals. Over the past two years, Crown Agents and consortium partners have been focused on creating sustainable change within the countries we have worked in, driving interventions to ensure the spread of Neglected Tropical Diseases are not just temporarily halted, but eliminated for good. We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation to continue these efforts. No one should needlessly suffer from preventable diseases and we’re pleased to be able to reach the most vulnerable populations through the ARISE NTD programme.”

The ARISE NTD programme provides emergency funding for 12 months and will be managed and adapted to tackle the challenges arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

About Crown Agents

Crown Agents is the UK not-for-profit international development company with decades of experience supporting governments, working in some of the most difficult contexts in the world and focusing on the most vulnerable in society.

Crown Agents’ work reaches over 36 million people in 60 countries, with expertise in Procurement Reform, Public Sector Transformation, Humanitarian & Stabilisation, Last Mile Supply Chain, Health System Strengthening and Training & Professional Development.

As part of Crown Agents’ NTD portfolio, the company managed the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s Accelerating the Sustainable Control and Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (Ascend) programme. In addition to supporting Mass Drug Administrations and surgeries to reverse blindness and disability caused by trachoma and elephantitis, the programme supported key health systems improvement interventions, such as encouraging the development of costed NTD masterplans, improving the visibility of supply chains for NTD drugs and improving government ownership of NTD programmes.

Looking forward, as well as working alongside CIFF to tackle NTDs, Crown Agents has signed a grant agreement with the End Fund to fill the gap for funding Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) for the governments of Uganda and Sudan. This continues the crucial work under the Ascend programme in identifying and managing VL cases including in the most remote parts of these countries such as Karamoja, Uganda and the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain regions of Sudan.

About the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

The Children’s Investment Fund is an independent philanthropic organisation, with offices in Addis Ababa, Beijing, London, Nairobi and New Delhi. CIFF works with a range of partners seeking to transform the lives of children and adolescents. Areas of work include maternal and child health, adolescent sexual health, nutrition, education, and deworming, tackling child slavery and exploitation, increasing opportunities for girls and young women, and supporting smart ways to slow down and stop climate change.

About Oriole Global Health

Headquartered in London, OGH provides evidence-based solutions to meet health and development goals through a global network of experts in regional offices in Africa, North America and Europe. OGH applies cutting-edge scientific approaches and technical acumen to develop health products, services and interventions that are sustainable, scalable and suited to the environment that our clients work in. Overcoming long-standing challenges and barriers to improving and maintaining the health of societies is at the forefront of OGH’s work.

About Abt Associates

Founded in 1965, Abt Associates (Abt) is a mission-driven company focussing on improving the quality of life and economic well-being of people worldwide. Abt has local presence in more than 50 countries and a strong track record of delivering value and impact.

Abt draws on evidence-based and multidisciplinary approaches to advance programmes and policies in a variety of key markets. Abt’s internationally recognised team offers a wide range of experience and technical expertise in a variety of areas including global health, economic development, governance including open societies, climate and environment.


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