effect:hope and Leprosy.ie (The Leprosy Mission Ireland) launch R2STOP initiative to close knowledge gaps in NTD transmission
PHILADELPHIA, PA , October 22, 2015— A new research funding initiative aimed at closing gaps in the understanding of transmission of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) launched today at the annual COR-NTD meeting. R2STOP (Research to Stop Transmission of Neglected Tropical Diseases) will grant up to $1 million per year, for at least three years, for research that targets questions of transmission in leprosy. In the future, R2STOP could support research that will contribute to the achievement of eradication and elimination of other NTDs.
The R2STOP initiative is co-sponsored by Toronto-based international development organization, effect:hope and Leprosy.ie (The Leprosy Mission Ireland). The leaders of both organizations attended the launch. “R2STOP could help to achieve visionary and inspiring global goals,” said Mr. Peter Derrick, Executive Director of effect:hope, “The initiative is designed to accelerate ongoing efforts to eliminate leprosy. We want to reach ‘zero transmission’ of the disease by 2020,” added Mr. Ken Gibson, CEO of Leprosy.ie (The Leprosy Mission Ireland), referring to goals set in the London Declaration, and WHO roadmap, on NTDs.
“In order to achieve zero transmission, we need to build a greater understanding of the basic elements of infection,” said Dr. Tom Gillis, Transmission Research Chair for R2STOP, “this includes investigations into the cause, diagnosis and treatment of leprosy and other NTDs.”
R2STOP will award grants of $10,000 to $100,000 USD annually for a maximum of three years. The initial funding priorities are investigations of:
1) Human-to-human transmission of M. leprae
2) Non-human reservoirs of M. leprae
3) Host-pathogen interactions
4) Transmission networks
R2STOP will disburse funds through a call for proposals process which is available at www.r2stop.org.
Deborah Mensah-Awere, Program Officer, Research & Learning, effect:hope
Tom Gillis: Chair, R2STOP
R2STOP is an initiative of effect:hope and Leprosy.ie. Its purpose is to promote and fund research that will close existing knowledge gaps in the relationship between hosts, environment, and the pathogens that cause the conditions known as neglected tropical diseases.
Leprosy is one of the world’s oldest diseases. It continues to affect people in over 120 countries. Leprosy, or Hansen’s Disease, is caused by a bacterium and can be treated with a combination of medicines generously donated by the Novartis Foundation. Left untreated, leprosy results in ulcers, disabilities, and blindness. Often physiotherapy, assistive devices, and surgery are necessary to restore the health of an affected person. Those with the disease face discrimination and live life on the margins of society, in extreme poverty.
Leprosy is a neglected tropical disease (NTD), along with 16 other diseases that the world has mostly forgotten. Collectively, these ancient conditions affect a billion of the poorest people around the world.
effect:hope is an international development organization focused on achieving lasting, positive change for the better among the world’s most neglected people – those affected by neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). With roots going back over 120 years, effect:hope, formerly The Leprosy Mission Canada, works to alleviate the burden of neglected tropical diseases in 11 countries in Asia and Africa, and champions and supports neglected tropical diseases research and advocacy efforts throughout the world. To learn more visit www.effecthope.org.
About Leprosy.ie (The Leprosy Mission Ireland)
Leprosy.ie (The Leprosy Mission Ireland) works towards a world where people affected by leprosy and other similar conditions are empowered to overcome the bondage and humiliation of being condemned to poverty, isolation and marginalisation.