- Disease area(s): Lymphatic filariasis
- Company(ies): GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co. Inc.
- Partner(s): (GAELF, WHO & other partners)
- Since 1998
- Program type(s): Access – Donation, Capacity Building – Training & Support
- Developing country(ies): (46 out of 80 endemic countries)
- Contact(s): Contact
The Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF) was created to eliminate one of the world´s leading causes of disability and disfigurement as a public health problem by the year 2020. An estimated 120 million people in at least 80 countries of the world are infected with lymphatic filarial parasites and one billion (20% of the world´s population) are at risk of infection.
Initiated by the World Health Organization and GlaxoSmithKline in 1998, the Global Alliance has evolved into a global partnership between international organizations in the public and private sectors, academia and non-governmental organizations working in partnership with ministries of health in tropical countries where lymphatic filariasis (LF) is endemic. Merck & Co., Inc. joined the Alliance in 1998, when it widened the scope of its Mectizan® Donation Program to include LF in African countries where river blindness and LF co-exist.
The WHO currently recommends that lymphatic filariasis be prevented with a combination of albendazole (donated by GSK) with either DEC, or Mectizan® (donated by Merck). Drug administration for people living in endemic areas is recommended by WHO once a year for at least five years to break the cycle of transmission. In 2007, GSK donated 150 million treatments of albendazole to prevent transmission in Africa, America, the eastern Mediterranean, Mekong basin, the Indian Sub-continent and the Pacific region. To date, GSK has donated 750 million treatments to 46 countries
Over the 20 year life of the program, GSK expects to donate up to 6 billion preventative albendazole treatments across the 80 endemic countries that are accepted into the program by the WHO. Merck donated 48 million treatments of Mectizan® to LF elimination programs in 12 African countries and Yemen in 2007, bringing the cumulative total to 215 million. Merck and GSK have also provided financial grants to support partners in research programs, coalition building, workshops and communications. WHO estimates that over 100 million people – 30 million of whom are children – have begun to be protected from LF.
Partners for dBase:
Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis GAELF, World Health Organization WHO