Imperial College of London has announced a $13.5 million gift from Good Ventures, a San Francisco-based philanthropy established by Facebook-co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife, Cari Tuna, in support of efforts to improve public health in some of the world's poorest countries.
The funding from Giving Pledge signatories Moskovitz and Tuna will support the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, a campaign based in Imperial's School of Public Health to treat up to 27 million people across East, West, and Central Africa with schistosomiasis and intestinal worms. Schistosomiasis, the second most prevalent parasitic infection after malaria, affects more than 250 million people worldwide, primarily in Africa, causing severe pain and life-long disability. Left untreated, it can lead to life-threatening conditions such as bladder cancer or liver damage. It can be prevented, however, through the administration of inexpensive or donated medicines, with such treatment costing less than fifty cents per person.
SCI works to control and eliminate schistosomiasis and intestinal worms by supporting ministries of health in affected countries through the implementation and monitoring of large-scale treatment programs and the distribution of donated drugs to affected areas to reduce infection rates. To date, SCI has helped deliver more than 140 million treatments to children and at-risk adults.
"A gift of this magnitude has enormous impact on Imperial's ability to address the world's great challenges," said ICL president Alice Gast. "Imperial excels at bringing enduring excellence in research to benefit society. We are incredibly grateful to Good Ventures for their generosity, which will greatly enhance our work with international partners to turn cutting-edge research into life-saving solutions for the world’s poorest communities."