Our co-founder Helen Keller’s words “alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” continue to guide and inspire our mission. Together, partners across the world have made tremendous progress in tackling debilitating, neglected diseases, but too often, young children have been left behind.
Children are at the heart of Helen Keller Intl’s work to transform lives. Together with Ministries of Health in 13 countries across Africa, alongside 65,869 dedicated Health Workers and 198,490 Community Health Heroes, and with generous support from GiveWell and many private donors, we have achieved remarkable progress. Between January 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023 we successfully distributed:
- Nearly 70 million deworming treatments to preschool children, improving their nutrition and health.
- More than 100 million vitamin A capsules to children under the age of five, preserving their sight and safeguarding their lives.
We firmly believe this partnership can do even more to transform lives.
Today at the Reaching the Last Mile Forum, alongside countries, partners, and donors, we pledge our increased commitment to combat neglected tropical diseases so that all children will have the opportunity to reach their true potential. Today we commit to:
- Distributing an additional 138 million deworming treatments to preschool children in 14 countries in Africa by June 2026.
- Testing delivery of pediatric praziquantel in at least one country and, based on feasibility, advocate for increased resources for scale up in other countries.
- Advocating for widespread scale-up of mass distribution of azithromycin for reducing deaths of young children in high mortality settings using community delivery platforms with appropriate surveillance.
Schistosomiasis has devastating consequences on preschool children’s nutrition, health and cognitive development. Recognizing the unmet needs to control this disease in preschool children, Helen Keller has committed our private resources to test the delivery of the new pediatric formulation of praziquantel.
Additionally, recent discoveries have revealed azithromycin – the same drug that led to the elimination of trachoma – can dramatically decrease deaths of young children, compelling us to take action on a larger scale. In Burkina Faso, we are partnering with the Ministry of Health and community health heroes as part of the Resiliency through Azithromycin for Children regional network to test large-scale delivery of azithromycin alongside vitamin A and deworming treatments.
These pledges represent an extraordinary commitment of $5.8 million in funding from our generous donors and an investment in our shared mission to save lives and improve the health of children in need. Together, we can do so much.
We invite you to read the full press release here.