WHO: With Aid From GSK And Merck, Togo Becomes First Nation In Africa To End Lymphatic Filariasis as a Public Health Problem
April 18, 2017

After over 10 billion doses of a pair of medicines — essentially all donated by charitable arms affiliated with the two multinationals, over almost two decades — Togo has eliminated both elephantiasis and river blindness, as public health concerns, in the country.

The WHO has certified Togo as the first African nation to reach this milestone. Here’s a bit — and to be certain, Kenilworth should rightfully be lauded for this (as should GSK):

. . . .”We celebrate this important achievement with the people of Togo. Lymphatic filariasis is a debilitating, but preventable, disease that not only affects patients and their families but also communities and health care systems,” said Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, Merck’s chief patient officer. “Working with our partners for nearly two decades, we strive to eliminate LF in Africa and Yemen to help improve the lives of tens of millions of people.”

Phil Thomson, president of Global Affairs, GSK said “Achieving elimination of LF is a fantastic achievement for Togo and is testament to the commitment of the Togolese Government and the dedication of the health workers delivering treatments on the front line. We are committed to playing our part with the donation of albendazole for as long as it is needed to replicate this success throughout endemic countries, freeing communities from the burden of LF.”

The MDP’s director, Dr. Yao Sodahlon, is a Togolese national and expert in tropical diseases who worked closely over the years with the ministry of health and other partners to ensure Togo’s success. . . .

This is a story not told often enough, about the morally just contributions of many life sciences companies — to “the humbled, the lowly — the least able to pay — of our brothers and sisters. . .” (to refer to Luke 10:30-37, as Pentecost looms). . . But brothers and sisters. . . all of us, are — just the same. Now you know. Onward — with a fiercely independent smile.

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