We would like to congratulate Sightsavers and their partners for reaching an historic milestone of delivering their cumulative one billionth treatment to people affected by neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Sightsavers is one of over 80 organisations that have endorsed the London Declaration and is a vital partner in the fight to beat neglected tropical diseases.

Sightsavers administered their one billionth treatment today (Thursday 16 November 2017) to a 7-year-old girl named Dorcas, who was at risk of NTDs in Kudaru, a community in Kaduna State, Nigeria. It was a combined treatment for onchocerciasis (river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis through one of Sightsavers flagship programmes, UNITED, which is funded by UK aid. She received this treatment alongside her grandfather, Simon, who was made blind from onchocerciasis decades before.

Dorcas sits next to her grandfather Simon

© Sightsavers

“NTDs impact some of the world’s poorest people but it doesn’t have to be this way. Our collaboration with communities, ministries of health in endemic countries, donors, other NGOs and academic institutions shows that these diseases can be prevented, treated and, ultimately, eliminated.”

Simon Bush, Director of NTDs, Sightsavers

This momentous milestone is also a recognition of the collaboration of a committed global public-private partnership and the dedicated network of local volunteers, known as Community Directed Distributors, who work tirelessly on the ground to provide treatment and care to those in need.