New Funding in the Fight Against Neglected Tropical Diseases


Five-year grant supports a coalition of partners engaged in operational research

New Orleans — Friday, October 26, 2018 — Today, the Secretariat of the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD) announced new funding for the coalition at its annual meeting. The five-year, $29.97 million grant will support research activities to address the remaining barriers countries face in meeting their goals to control and eliminate five neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), and was awarded to COR-NTD by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Tremendous progress has been made in the past decade to end the suffering caused by neglected tropical diseases,” said Patrick Lammie, Chief Scientist for the Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center, which serves as COR-NTD Secretariat. “This investment provides the NTD community with resources to address the remaining technical barriers to program success.”

Engaged to Eliminate

In 2012, a wide range of stakeholders – including pharmaceutical companies, non-governmental and governmental organizations – came together to endorse the London Declaration on NTDs. This call to action catalyzed partners to meet the targets set out by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its 2020 Roadmap on NTDs.

For five of these diseases – lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis, and trachoma – WHO recommends preventive treatment delivered, usually once yearly, to entire populations. Since the London Declaration, the number of people requiring preventive treatment for NTDs has decreased by more than 300 million people, according to WHO’s latest data.

“Ministries of health drive the successful control and elimination of NTDs in their countries,” said Eric Ottesen, Director of the Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center. “Where they face barriers in getting treatments to people who need them or knowing when to stop treating – that’s where operational research comes in.”

Investing in Impact

Since 2013, COR-NTD has utilized funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, and UK aid from the British government to support research that has generated solutions to operational issues faced by national programs in their fight against NTDs. More than 180 studies led by more than 100 international partners in 55 countries have been supported, with outputs that include new diagnostics and surveillance tools, along with protocols for their use that have gained endorsement by WHO.

“Our coalition and the NTD community have grown considerably in the last five years,” said Lammie. “I know that, together, we’ll be able to continue to solve the most persistent NTD problems and to enhance the health impact on these diseases of neglected populations.”


The Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD) is a group of researchers, program implementers and their supporters with the shared goal of optimizing NTD control and elimination. Supported by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID and UK aid from the British government, the Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center at the Task Force for Global Health serves as the Coalition Secretariat. The aim of COR-NTD is to create new opportunities and synergies within the NTD operational research community that align with national NTD program needs and provide an evidence base for the global guidelines advanced by WHO. Learn more at

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Chelsea Toledo

Publication date: 
26 October 2018