TALLAHASSEE, Florida — Last month, the United Arab Emirates-based firm Globesight donated $100,000 to The Reach Campaign. The Reach Campaign aims to alleviate neglected tropical diseases (NTDS) such as river blindness and lymphatic filariasis. The money helps provide treatment options within many communities whose citizens suffer from symptoms associated with NTDs. Globesight is also working with the END Fund, another organization that helps combat NTDs.
River Blindness and Lymphatic Filariasis
River blindness, or Onchocerciasis, results from someone getting bit by a blackfly that has been infected with onchocerca volvulus. Some common symptoms of river blindness include blindness, itching and skin conditions like dermatitis. The majority of people suffering from symptoms live within countries in West and Central Africa. The main drug used to help treat river blindness is ivermectin. However, it requires years of consistent use to be effective in treating the disease. There is still a need for treatments that will prevent the formation of worms that potentially cause river blindness.
Lymphatic filariasis is another type of NTD that results from the bite of a mosquito infected with microfilariae. People diagnosed with lymphatic filariasis may deal with a variety of symptoms. The symptoms can range from swelling and inflamed lymph nodes to having a physical disability. Possible treatment options for symptoms associated with lymphatic filariasis include combining albendazole, diethylcarbamazine and ivermectin for two years. People who suffer from lymphatic filariasis could receive a combination of just albendazole and diethylcarbamazine. However, the treatment last five years.
Inspiration Behind Globesight’s Donation
Most people who suffer from NTDs such as river blindness and lymphatic filariasis live in low-income communities. Millions of people have river blindness, which leads to a higher chance of lymphatic filariasis. Globesight’s donation will go to the Reaching the Last Mile Fund, which focuses on alleviating river blindness and lymphatic filariasis in sub-Saharan Africa. The donation will also be a “part of the Reach Giving Circle,” an organization whose goal is to end NTDs and promote healthy living. According to The Reach Campaign’s managing director, Nassar Al Mubarak, more than one billion people suffer from NTDs.
As a passionate firm highlighting global social issues, Globesight has committed to alleviating river blindness and lymphatic filariasis. These two NTDs negatively affect people living in parts of the world, such as sub-Saharan Africa. After countries such as the U.K. decided to eliminate funding for NTDs, the firm believed it was important to fight for this issue. Globesight’s president Tauriq Rahim told The Borgen Project in an interview, “We wanted to make sure that we signaled to others in the private sector international community that it’s important to step up now when these issues might be forgotten, especially as the whole world’s focus is on COVID. But, people are still suffering from these diseases.”
Potential Uses of Globesight’s Donation
Globesight’s donation helps communities that suffer from symptoms associated with river blindness and lymphatic filariasis. Rahim told The Borgen Project, “The money will be used to support both health workers as well as getting medicines and treatment for these two diseases.” Rahim says the treatment options will help communities and villages that need them. He also said that the END Fund coordinating different organizations would help make sure that the areas suffering from river blindness and lymphatic filariasis receive the resources.
The END Fund
Like initiatives such as The Reach campaign, the END Fund is dedicated to alleviating river blindness and lymphatic filariasis. Rahim told The Borgen Project, “The END Fund is an organization that has a presence throughout Africa, Asia and North America and has helped mobilize funding to fight NTDs. [The fund is] a key implementing partner for all the funds raised by The Reach campaign.” The inspiration behind creating the END Fund is based on the Legatum Foundation’s work towards treating NTDs. The END fund tries to raise money and help health workers and patients suffering from NTDs.
Involvement with the END Fund can happen in a few ways. Going on a trip to Mount Kilimanjaro is one way to support the cause. Being a part of the Race to See the END is another way to join the fight in ending NTDs. People can also donate to the END Fund while shopping on Amazon. The fund’s Dining in the Dark event emphasizes the importance of NTDs and the solutions people are working on. Anyone who wants to support the cause can create their own fundraiser on Facebook or host an awareness event.
River blindness and lymphatic filariasis are two NTDs that affect people in different parts of the world. Globesight’s donation of $100,000 to The Reach campaign will help many people who suffer from NTDs. This includes providing treatment options and assisting health workers. Globesight’s collaboration with the END Fund will benefit people living in communities with more cases of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis.
– Chloe Moody