With teamwork from around the globe, the Uniting to Combat NTDs program has officially set a charitable world record as part of a global initiative to fight the battle against Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Guinness World Records presented a certificate to the organisation on Tuesday in Geneva, Switzerland recognising their philanthropic efforts in achieving the Most medication donated in 24 hours (multiple venues) title.
Several influential foundations and recognised pharmaceutical companies helped to make the incredible number of 207,169 292 doses possible, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bayer, Eisai, Gilead, GSK, J&J, MSD, Merck KGaA, Novartis, Pfizer and Sanofi.
The idea behind this record is a noble one, inspired by a mission of the World Health Organization to eradicate 17 Neglected Tropical Diseases affecting thousands of helpless individuals in impoverished nations.
After the WHO declared its “Roadmap of Implementation” to tackle NTDs, prominent health organisations met in London in 2012 and were inspired to contribute to their mission by eliminating ten neglected diseases by 2020.
The event created a humanitarian domino effect, inspiring Uniting to Combat NTDs to aid the London Declaration on the date of its five year anniversary, January 30, 2017.
By enlisting the help of healthcare companies who could donate the necessary medication to rehabilitate infected people, efforts by the Uniting to Combat NTDs alliance proved to be record-breaking.
Treatment donations at such a large scale have enabled extraordinary reach and impact by NTD programs around the world.
Since the goal to eliminate 17 NTDs first began, more than 300 million people who required preventative treatment for at least one NTD five years ago no longer need it.
The Guinness World Records title is shared by all the partners of the Uniting to Combat NTDs coalition, whose collective work has helped to drive progress and lift the burden of NTDs from some of the most vulnerable people in the world.
Organizers state that the record is a reminder of the work necessary to deliver a treatment from a manufacturer’s warehouse – from the officials who receive and organize donations, the NGOs and government programs who deliver it to remote communities, all the way to the heroic health workers who dedicate their lives to bringing those treatments to patients.
Over the past five years, Uniting to Combat NTD has contributed to significant improvement in fighting these severely infectious diseases, which affect millions.
It is now considered one of the largest medical donation programs in the world, greatly assisting the World Health Organization (WHO) Roadmap in its aim to reach 2020 control of NTDs.
The record title accomplished by Uniting to Combat NTD is a reflection of what impact collaboration, aligned strategies, and diverse partnerships can have on humanity.
Speaking about the record in a recent blog post, Bill Gates said:
Of course, all world records get challenged. And I for one will be thrilled for the day when this record for drug donations gets broken. So will the millions of families around the world who need them.