In June 2007, Alyssa Milano was named the lead ambassador for the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Disease Control. Her first action as ambassador was to donate $250,000 to the charity. The Global Network and its member organizations used Milano’s first-year donation to develop a full-scale implementation program to eliminate lymphatic filariasis (LF) in Myanmar, a Southeast Asian nation where LF is extremely prevalent. More specifically, 12 million tablets of DEC, an antiparasitic drug that is part of the rapid-impact package, were purchased to treat 4 million individuals.
In 2008, Milano’s second-year donation went toward the purchase of DEC to treat LF in Haiti. Her donation will allow for the treatment of over one-third of Haiti’s entire population. The Global Network is an alliance formed to advocate and mobilize resources in the fight to control neglected tropical diseases.
“Words cannot fully express the devastation and horror caused by NTDs [Neglected Tropical Diseases]. Until now, these diseases have been hidden in the shadows, but working with the Global Network, I am focused on bringing this tragedy to the public eye.”
Alyssa was introduced to the Global Network through her involvement with the Clinton Global Initiative. Upon hearing a panel discussion on NTDs that included Dr. Peter Hotez (President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute) and former President Jimmy Carter, she pledged to dedicate time, effort and funds to promote advocacy, policy and partnerships in the global fight against NTDs.
Alyssa worked to raise awareness of neglected tropical diseases by educating the mainstream media and the public about the plight of the one billion people afflicted and the importance of controlling and preventing this global health crisis.