The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the KfW Development Bank has awarded DNDi a five-year EUR 20 million grant to support faster access to treatments for people affected by poverty-related and neglected diseases (PRNDs) in priority countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
PRNDs affect mainly poor, hard-to-reach, and marginalized populations. Without appropriate diagnosis and treatment, they can result in severe illness, chronic disease and disfigurement, or death and push already vulnerable communities further into poverty and marginalization. Despite some progress, medicines to treat many of these diseases are often difficult to access in low- and middle-income countries.
Working with public and private sector partners in countries heavily impacted by PRNDs, DNDi’s BMZ-supported project will implement cross-cutting interventions to increase access to testing and treatment. These will focus on improving supply levels and reducing patient and health system costs – for example, through pooled procurement mechanisms, creating demand by raising awareness and knowledge of diseases and available treatments, and removing systemic barriers to access, such as by registering medicines in priority countries.
The project will carry out targeted activities to improve disease management and access to new and improved treatments developed by DNDi and others for sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, helminth infections, mycetoma, dengue, paediatric HIV, and cryptococcal meningitis. The project’s ultimate objectives are to ensure sustainable access to available treatments, bolster ‘test-and-treat’ programmes, build health system capacity, and support the adoption of improved treatment guidelines and public health policies.
‘We are extremely grateful to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the KfW Development Bank for placing their trust in DNDi and supporting our mission to improve the lives of neglected populations,’ said Dr Luis Pizarro, Executive Director of DNDi. ‘We count on strong partnerships to drive medical innovation and treatment access to improve the health and quality of life of millions of people at risk of these devastating diseases.’
Aligned with German development policy and the One Health approach, the project aims to support the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC) and the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in low- and middle-income countries, positively impacting the lives of the poorest and most neglected communities. This funding builds upon the successful outcomes of over 12 years of support for DNDi research and development programmes from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) through KfW.
‘The most vulnerable people – poor people, older people, people with disabilities – suffer most from neglected diseases,’ said Svenja Schulze, Development Minister, German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. ‘And they suffer not only from the physical health consequences, but also from the stigmatization and exclusion these illnesses provoke. This is why it is so important to support the fight against neglected diseases. This new project will help ensure access to the latest medical technologies, including in the most remote settings – and for the poorest and most marginalized communities.’
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a not-for-profit medical research organization that discovers, develops, and delivers safe, effective, and affordable treatments for neglected people. DNDi is developing medicines for sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, river blindness, mycetoma, dengue, paediatric HIV, cryptococcal meningitis, and hepatitis C. Its research priorities include children’s health, gender equity and gender-responsive R&D, and diseases impacted by climate change. Since its creation in 2003, DNDi has joined with public and private partners across the globe to deliver twelve new treatments, saving millions of lives. dndi.org
About the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and KfW Development Bank
KfW Development Bank has been helping the German Federal Government to achieve its goals in development policy and international development cooperation for more than 60 years. KfW Development Bank is both an experienced bank and a development institution with financing expertise, with expert knowledge of development policy and many years of national and international experience. On behalf of the German Federal Government, and primarily the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), we finance and support programmes and projects that mainly involve public sector players in developing countries and emerging economies – from their conception and execution to monitoring their success. Our goal is to help our partner countries fight poverty, maintain peace, protect the environment, and shape globalisation in an appropriate way.
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Photo credit: Ana Ferreira-DNDi