United States Government through the Agency for International Development has provided support to Ministry of Health and Sanitations with $267 million drugs mainly to eliminate several neglected tropical diseases on Wednesday 2nd February 2022 at its Embassy in Freetown.

According to the press release, twelve 12 districts have successfully reduced transmission of lymphatic filariasis (known locally as “bigfoot”); meaning children living in these districts will grow up without the risk of being infected. Adding that campaigns messages were established to distribute medicines for river blindness of which 5.5 million Sierra Leoneans are receiving annual treatment for this disease.

The United States Embassy in Freetown in a press release said Sierra Leone is on track to eliminate these two neglected tropical diseases by 2030.

The Embassy revealed that World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day is celebrated every year on January 30th which aims to draw attention to neglected diseases and motivate communities to continue to participate in prevention, including taking part in campaigns to distribute medicines and to practice good hygiene to further reduce the spread of these diseases. “This year’s theme for World Neglected tropical diseases day is Advancing health equity to end the neglect of poverty-related diseases,” said United States Embassy.

The United States Embassy said, USAID remains strongly committed to supporting the people and government of Sierra Leone in eliminating Bigfoot and river blindness, and bringing under control other parasitic diseases that can be prevented and treated.

According to A-Z Newspaper, the press release stated the partnership between the governments of the United States and Sierra Leone and with civil society through Helen Keller International is enabling Sierra Leone to distribute over 125 million medicines valued at over $267 million of donated drugs.

“These campaigns are crucial to combat neglected tropical diseases endemic in Sierra Leone, including Lymphatic Filariasis (Bigfoot), Onchocerciasis (river blindness), Soil Transmitted Helminths (worms) and Schistosomiasis (mansoni),” United States Embassy said.