END 7 is a programme to control and eliminate seven NTD diseases from India, affecting 500 million people by 2020. (Agencies)
According to the Global Network, India has around 35 per cent of the global population infected with NTD. Moreover, only 40 percent of school-age children currently receive de-worming, it said further.
The initiative, which is run by the US-based Sabin Vaccine Institute, works closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other global health partners.
"Abhishek Bachchan will play a key role in drawing attention to NTDs as an achievable health priority for India, educating the public about the impact of NTDs and the importance of complying with free NTD treatment programs, while also encouraging national and state level policymakers to continue making the cost-effective investment in NTD programmes," Global Network said in a statement.
Commenting on the development, Bachchan said: "I am proud to serve as the END7 campaign’s ambassador in India and hope that others will join me in ridding our country of these preventable diseases."
The NTDs are —hookworm, ascariasis (roundworm), trichuriasis (whipworm), schistosomiasis (snail fever), lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), onchocerciasis (river blindness) and trachoma.
Global Network-managing director Dr Neeraj Mistry said:" India currently runs some of the largest NTD control and elimination programs in the world. By continuing to prioritise NTDs and building up the ability to deliver treatments, India can be a global leader in efforts to defeat NTDs once and for all".
It costs approximately 50 cents (Rs 31) to treat and protect one person and pills for the NTDs treatment are donated by pharmaceutical companies.
END 7 is a programme to control and eliminate seven NTD diseases from India, affecting 500 million people by 2020.