Canton of Geneva commits 200,000CHF to DNDi East Africa Project
The Canton of Geneva has committed an initial 200,000CHF to the DNDi-LEAP1 Paromomycin Clinical Trial in Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya. The objective of this project is to make a more effective, shorter course, less-toxic treatment available to patients in East Africa suffering from visceral leishmaniasis (VL or kala azar), a disease that kills thousands each year.

To achieve this objective, DNDi and LEAP are conducting trials of an existing antibiotic, paromomycin, to take it to registration in these three countries. Paromomycin is already being used informally to treat VL. If used alone, or in combination with an existing anti-leishmaniasis drug, the treatment of VL could be shorter (17-21 days instead of 30 days) and less-toxic.

Solidarité Internationale, an agency within the government of the Canton of Geneva, was created in 2003 out of the belief that it is a moral obligation but also a real political and economic need for industrialised countries to contribute to the development of a better balance in the world by supporting projects in developing countries. They had a budget of approximately 10 million CHF in 2003 (and 14 million CHF in 2004) and supported projects ranging from human rights, micro-economics, education, culture, environment, construction, health, access to new technologies, humanitarian aid, and aid to Geneva-based organisations that act to benefit developing countries or are developing country organisations based in Geneva. Although Solidarité Internationale does not normally support medical research as such, it is clearly within their mandate to support DNDi’s work which cuts across several of their priority areas and is also working toward making life more equitable for those living in poverty.

By generously supporting research and development of a new drug for a neglected disease such as leishmaniasis, the Canton of Geneva has demonstrated its commitment to reducing the burden of inequity in the world.

1. Leishmaniasis East Africa Platform – a group of DNDi’s local partners comprising a network of leishmaniasis experts and Ministry of Health officials from Sudan, Ethiopia & Kenyar.
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