Professor helps fundraise to fight tropical diseases

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Just 50 cents.

That is all that Dr. Peter Hotez and the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases are looking for from each GW student in their campaign to raise awareness of neglected tropical diseases.

Hotez, chair of the department of microbiology at GW and president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, is working with the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases on the Just 50 Cents initiative, where students are asked to give just two quarters to help a citizen in a third world country ward off the seven most common neglected tropical diseases for an entire year. He has brought the subject of neglected tropical diseases to mainstream media outlets and in 2006, spoke at the Clinton Global Initiatives conference.

Neglected tropical diseases affect over 1.4 billion people, most of who live on less than $1.25 per day, said Anjana Padmanabhan, a communications associate for the Global Network

“We are excited to launch the Just 50 Cents campaign and particularly the Campus Challenge,” Hotez said. “It is a great opportunity for students to create change in the lives of the world’s poorest by raising funds and awareness to eliminate these diseases.”

NTDs are debilitating and harmful, and they keep individuals from being able to care for themselves or their families, promoting poverty Padmanabhan said. These diseases can malnutrition, anemia, serious or permanent disability and death, according to the Global Network website.

“There has recently been a surge of student interest in global health issues,” said Erin Finucane, the global partnerships and outreach officer at the Global Network. “The Just 50 Cents Campus Challenge harnesses that momentum and provides students the opportunity to make change meaningful.”

This campaign is currently taking place in undergraduate and graduate schools across the country including Harvard, University of Notre Dame, University of Illinois, University of Minnesota, and the University of British Columbia

To donate to the cause or learn more about the initiative, students can go on to the “get involved” section and find the Just 50 Cents campus challenge.

They are looking for students to start their own individual campaigns or start a group initiative on the GW campus.

The individual who collects the most money they will win a four-week paid internship with the Global Network in Washington, D.C., plus $1,000 for housing.

If GW wins the initiative, the University will win a matching donation of up to $25,000 in the University’s name towards NTD control efforts.

This article was updated on October 24, 2011 to reflect the following:
Sentences, phrases and facts from the original copy of this article were copied, without attribution, from the Global Networks website. Those plagiarized sentences have been removed or an attribution was added.

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