Organisations from across the non-profit and private sector have got behind the WHO’s campaign, including GSK. For the past 18 years, the company has donated a medicine called albendazole to support the fight against LF. This small, white pill is used in combination with other medicines to help prevent transmission of the disease – which is spread by a parasite that mosquitoes carry.
One medicine fighting two neglected tropical diseases
Not only is albendazole part of the fight against LF, but this pill is also taking on soil-transmitted helminths. These intestinal worms infect over 800 million children worldwide, particularly in poorer countries. They are spread through contaminated soil and can impair development and result in anaemia, lethargy, stunted growth and malnutrition
Because diseases like intestinal worms and LF affect lower income countries, they have not always had the investment they deserve – in terms of scaling up treatments and researching new medicines. But defeating these so-called ‘neglected tropical diseases’ could help strengthen the economic health of developing countries, as well as enhance the wellbeing of those who live there.