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Under the Big Tree: Extraordinary Stories from the Movement to End Neglected Tropical Diseases

Under the Big Tree: Extraordinary Stories from the Movement to End Neglected Tropical Diseases


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Powerful stories of the debilitating effects of neglected tropical diseases throughout the world, highlighting the successes and challenges of those fighting to eliminate them.

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affect over one billion of the world's poorest people. More than 170,000 people die from NTDs each year, and many more suffer from blindness, disability, disfigurement, cognitive impairment, and stunted growth. Yet NTDs are treatable and preventable, and the annual cost of treatment is incredibly low.

In Under the Big Tree, public health leader Ellen Agler and award-winning writer Mojie Crigler tell the moving stories of those struggling with these diseases and the life-saving work that can be—and has been—done to combat NTDs. They introduce readers to people from all walks of life—from car washers in Lake Victoria and surgeons on motorbikes to under-resourced local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and Big Pharma scientists—as they chronicle what has been called the largest public health program in the world.

On the one hand, the solutions are simple: deliver medication to people who need it and leverage local systems to offer prevention, treatment, and education. On the other hand, solutions are complex: navigating local and national politics, delivering treatment to some of the most remote, vulnerable communities, and coordinating global and local donors, international NGOs, thousands of health workers, and millions of citizens.

Drawing on interviews with major players in the NTD world who share their cutting-edge research and frontline experiences, Under the Big Tree is a moving introduction to the science, the tactics, and the partnerships working to address these terrible diseases that affect the most vulnerable people in the world. With a foreword by Bill Gates, this book fascinates, inspires, and gives readers concrete steps for further engagement.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421427232
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 01/15/2019
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Ellen Agler is the CEO of the END Fund. Mojie Crigler is the author of Get Me Through Tomorrow: A Sister's Memoir of Brain Injury and Revival.

Read an Excerpt

Under the Big Tree shines a spotlight on some of the heroes in the ambitious effort to rid the world of NTDs. Their stories are an inspiration and, I hope, a rallying cry for others to join the global efforts to finally end the suffering caused by these ancient diseases.

Table of Contents

Foreword, by Bill Gates
Preface, by William C. Campbell
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1. Crisis and Collaboration
Chapter 2. Modern Approaches to Ancient Diseases
Chapter 3. Big Consequences from Small Things
Chapter 4. Empowerment and Humility
Chapter 5. Worms, Maps, and Money
Chapter 6. A New Normal
Chapter 7. Stone Soup
Chapter 8. Unfrozen Moment
Chapter 9. Strengthening Health Systems
Chapter 10. The Last Twenty Centimeters
Chapter 11. Homegrown Philanthropy
Note on Sources

What People are Saying About This

Adam Grant

Over a billion people worldwide are affected by tropical diseases that are devastating but entirely preventable. This uplifting book chronicles the growing movement to eradicate these maladies and create a safer, healthier planet for all of us.

Elie Hassenfeld

The fight against neglected tropical diseases is one of the most important public health stories of the last quarter century. I recommend this book to anyone looking to understand this underappreciated story.

George Stephanopoulos

Under the Big Tree makes a passionate, persuasive argument. Ending NTDs is a low-cost, high-impact way to radically improve the lives of the world's poorest citizens.

Margaret Chan

Under the Big Tree is an inspiring reminder of what is possible when those in the global health field put their faith in people and their trust in evidence.

Klaus Schwab

Under the Big Tree blends fascinating stories from all sides of the fight against neglected tropical diseases with takeaway lessons of collaboration, creativity, and positive systemic change. The result is a book that is accessible, inspiring, and deeply necessary.

Gilbert Burnham

The compelling—and largely untold—story of the people and activities addressing the scourge of tropical disease.

Adrian Hopkins

An excellent example of partnerships developing around a common cause and an inspiration for those involved in not only neglected tropical diseases but also in improving healthcare for the most neglected of communities.

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