20210825 Daniel Boakye
Daniel Boakye, a researcher working with The End Fund which is working to eradicate river blindess in Senegal. Image Credit: Ed Kashi/VII

Dubai: Globesight, a global development firm working on solutions to pressing social issues, has donated $100,000 (Dh367,000) to The Reach Campaign, an awareness and fundraising initiative, which aims to end two neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), river blindness and lymphatic filariasis

Donation from The Reach Campaign go towards the Reaching the Last Mile Fund (RLMF), which offers a proof of concept for the elimination of the two diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa. RLMF is a 10-year, $100 million initiative launched in 2017 by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and several supporters, including The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The RLMF delivers preventative treatment for NTDs and focuses on ways to accelerate progress towards elimination – from investing in disease mapping efforts, to supporting advanced lab facilities and cross-border collaborations.

Affecting the world’s poorest

According to reports, river blindness and lymphatic filariasis disproportionately affect the world’s poorest people. Over 200 million people globally require treatment for river blindness, one of the leading causes of preventable blindness, while over 850 million people are at risk of lymphatic filariasis

Globesight’s donation represents the first contribution as part of the Reach Giving Circle, which consists of a collection of philanthropists who are dedicated to ending NTDs and empowering people to live healthy and dignified lives.

The $100,000 contribution can either protect 200,000 people from contracting river blindness and lymphatic filariasis for a full year or 3,000 people over their entire life from the aforementioned NTDs.

Stepping up

Taufiq Rahim, Globesight president, said: “We are proud to be supporting Reach through this commitment at a time when the world’s attention and funding for fighting to end neglected tropical diseases is under threat. It is also important for the private sector to step up and we hope that our contribution to the Reach reinforces that call to action.”

Nassar Al Mubarak, managing director of The Reach Campaign, added: “NTDs affect around 1.5 billion people worldwide – these diseases are not only preventable, but eliminating them will have widespread benefits amongst communities. Often, the children of adults who have contracted one of the diseases will have to drop out of school to become primary caregivers, impacting the entire family and trapping families in a cycle of poverty. Our hope is that through eliminating them, we can empower some of the most vulnerable communities to live a healthier and more productive life.”

“We are thankful for Globesight’s contribution to The Reach Campaign – their generosity advances our efforts and ultimately helps some of the most vulnerable populations across the globe,” he added.

Globesight, headquartered between Dubai and New York, has also provided oxygen and ventilators to vulnerable communities impacted by the COVID-19 crisis in India and Uganda, contributing to COVAX to drive vaccine equity forward, and providing humanitarian aid in times of tragedy such as the Global Aid for Lebanon Campaign.