Sending Office: Honorable Christopher H. Smith
NTDs are a group of 17 parasitic and bacterial diseases which blind, disable, disfigure, and sometimes kill victims from among the more than one billion of the world’s poorest people, trapping the most marginalized communities in a cycle of poverty. These
diseases can keep children from attending school and their parents from working and cause excessive bleeding by mothers during birth and result in low birth weight babies. NTDs therefore constitute a significant hurdle to achieving economic growth and dilute
the impact of foreign assistance programs. While NTDs primarily afflict communities in developing countries, outbreaks have been reported in the U.S. and other developed countries in recent years, such as West Nile virus, dengue fever, chikungunya and now
The most common NTDs can be controlled and eliminated. However, there is still much work to be done to prepare for currently unknown diseases that may appear on the international scene and to reach the World Health Organization’s control and elimination
goals by 2020. To achieve these goals, heightened support is needed now from both new and longstanding partners. This legislation will support the control and elimination of NTDs in the U.S. and abroad by:
- Supporting USAID’s NTD Program to better integrate NTD control and elimination efforts with other development issues, such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, water and sanitation and education, and conduct research and development for improved drugs,
diagnostics and vaccines to control and eliminate NTDs.
- Directing the U.S. Government to advocate for increased efforts to address NTDs
among international institutions such as the United Nations and World Health Organization.
- Calling for the Department of Health and Human Services to submit a report on NTDs in the U.S.
to better understand the epidemiology, impact, and appropriate funding needed to address NTDs domestically.
- Encouraging the creation of one or more NTD Centers of Excellence to encourage increased research and development for tools to diagnose, prevent, treat and control NTDs.
- Establishing a panel on intestinal worm infections to evaluate and make recommendations regarding potential solutions to worm infections, which impact more than one billion people worldwide, including 600 million school-age children.
Title I of this bill was marked up by the Foreign Affairs committee on November 15, and we await mark-up of Title II by the Energy & Commerce Committee soon.
Please join me and Rep. Gregory Meeks in meeting the challenge of the next tropical disease to become a global concern by co-sponsoring H.R. 1415. Contact Greg Simpkins at 202-226-7812 or by e-mail at
email@example.com to sign on to this important, life-changing legislation.
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