The end of summer means back to school for millions of children around the world. Tomorrow my two children will be starting school and as a parent it is in my uttermost interest to ensure they are healthy and ready to learn.
We all understand that education is critical to improving our lives and future. Yet tragically education is not an equal opportunity for millions of children around the world. Per Education Envoy, an estimated 61 million children are shut out of primary school, an astounding number.
There are many obstacles and barriers to education – gender, poverty, child labor, disease, illness, war and unrest, and lack of schools – are some of the main culprits. However, many of these barriers to receiving education are solvable. Perhaps one of the most simple and inexpensive ways to achieving educational equality and getting more children in the developing world into school is to fight against NTDs or “Neglected Tropical Diseases”.
What are NTDs?
Neglected Tropical Diseases are illnesses you have most likely never heard of before unless you are a global traveler or have lived in the developing world. NTDs often have names that are difficult to pronounce and include such diseases as Chagas, Dengue, Dracunculiasis and Echinococcosis to name a few, and are a group of parasitic and bacterial infections that are common within the developing world. In fact, it is estimated that NTDs infect one in six people worldwide including one billion children (1).
Why do NTDs matter?
NTDs continue the vicious cycle of poverty by disabling and debilitating children so much that they are unable to attend school and learn. In the worst situations NTDs can kill children and their parents further reinforcing poverty.
What is the END7 Campaign?
END7 is a global advocacy campaign run by the Global Network to raise awareness of the seven most common NTDs and cultivate the resources necessary to eliminate them as public health threats by 2020.
For as little as $0.50 a year, we can treat the seven most common NTDs: Elephantiasis, river blindness, trachoma, snail fever, hookworm, whipworm and roundworm.
Why 7? Because these seven NTDs are the most common and represent 90% of the global burden of NTDs impacting over one billion people. (2)
To learn more, check out END7s video below and visit their website here.
Information for this post was sourced from the following websites: (1) www.end7.org and (2) www.globalnetwork.org.