First Foundation Grant Focused on Access to Health Addresses Neglected Tropical Diseases in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Today, the Astellas Global Health Foundation announced its first grant since the Foundation’s inception, awarding $750,000 to the END Fund, a prominent philanthropic organization combating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) worldwide. The END Fund will use the investment to deliver NTD treatments through mass drug administration mechanisms designed to control and eliminate NTDs in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the world’s poorest countries ranking among the highest in NTD prevalence. Its residents have little access to healthcare (one in five children there dies of preventable diseases before reaching age 5), and more than 55.5 million of its population requires treatment for at least one NTD.
“We are grateful to the Astellas Global Health Foundation for investing in a program that makes a significant and direct impact on people’s lives. NTDs can lead to disability and in children cause malnutrition and stunted growth – affecting their ability to learn and thrive. Our initiative in the Democratic Republic of Congo provides treatment for diseases including lymphatic filariasis, intestinal worms and schistosomiasis, helping us advance further and faster toward ending these diseases among the world’s most impoverished people,” said Ellen Agler, CEO of the END Fund.
For the Astellas Global Health Foundation, this investment was the first dedicated to improving one of its three key areas of focus within access to health – mental health, neglected tropical and communicable diseases, and children’s health – in low- and middle-income countries where Astellas, a company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world, does not have a business presence. Additional investments will be announced in early 2020.
“As access to health remains such a critical issue for communities worldwide, the Astellas Global Health Foundation is committed to supporting initiatives that reach the world’s most vulnerable populations,” said Moyra Knight, president of the Astellas Global Health Foundation. “Our support of the END Fund demonstrates a strong beginning to our efforts to address the vast disparity in access to health for these communities. We look forward to continuing to partner with organizations making a measurable impact where it’s most needed.”
The Astellas Global Health Foundation launched in late 2018 as an international philanthropic organization dedicated primarily to improving access to health in underserved global communities in order to make a sustainable impact on the health of people worldwide. Following the initial investment in access to health, the Astellas Global Health Foundation is currently engaged in a targeted Request for Proposal process to evaluate potential global partners and determine recipients for grants to build community resilience and provide disaster support.
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of The Astellas Global Health Foundation.