Merck Adds Another $300,000 In Cash — To Neglected Disease Eradication — In Africa…
April 20, 2017

The total will rise to $600,000, as it is a matching grant — for anyone else who decides to chip in [that’s a hint, Mr. Reed. . . grin]. And the World Health Organization has set an aspirational goal of eradicating this scourge, and many others, throughout Africa — by 2020. Merck has already contributed over 2.5 billion doses of medicines, to the effort.

This underscores our post of Monday — and reminds the world of Kenilworth’s almost solitary original role (since the late 1980s — later picked up by GSK and others) in ending river blindness, in Africa. This is the highest and most noble calling — of stewardship, at a life science company blessed with the resources Merck enjoys. [In fact, in October of 2015, a former Merck scientist did win a Nobel for this work.] Kudos, Mr. Frazier — and a bit:

. . . .Merck announced today a $300,000 cash donation to support non-governmental organization (NGO) partners working to eliminate river blindness (onchocerciasis) and lymphatic filariasis (LF) in Africa. The donation will be offered to 10 NGOs beginning this year, and will be administered through the MECTIZAN® Donation Program (MDP), a public/private partnership established in 1987 following the announcement by Merck to donate MECTIZAN® to control and eliminate river blindness.

River blindness and LF are targeted for elimination in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Roadmap on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), and NGOs have long played a critical role in the broad partnership focused on achieving those targets. Grants will be given to support activities focused on the elimination of river blindness or LF, and will be offered to our partner NGOs who are directly involved in the distribution of MECTIZAN®. Eligible NGOs will be able to request funds through an application process in which they will be required to secure a 50-50 matching grant, effectively doubling the resources to $600,000. . . .

Now you know. And now with feelings of a sweet reckoning abounding — and copper colored satellites once again twisting gracefully overhead — I cannot stop smiling. Word. . . .

नमस्ते

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