Washington D.C.—Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lead Republican of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, spoke on the House Floor in support of the End Neglected Tropical Diseases Act, legislation that would expand U.S. activities in the fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases such as worms and dengue fever.


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-Remarks as Delivered-

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the End Neglected Tropical Diseases Act. This bill is sponsored by my good friend Mr. Smith of New Jersey. I want to applaud you, commend you sir, for your efforts and being a steadfast leader on this very important issue that’s going to save lives and it has saved lives. You are really the conscience of this body when it comes to this issue.  NTDs represent a group of parasitic and bacterial diseases that currently afflict more than 1.4 billion people worldwide and they can result in severe disabilities such as blindness, compounding existing social and economic challenges in the areas where these diseases thrive.

“To be clear, the U.S. has taken a leadership role in this fight against NTDs. As many of these diseases have approved treatments, USAID’s NTD program has supplied medicine to key impacted countries using an innovative public-private partnership as Congressman Smith alluded to. Since 2006, USAID has leveraged more than 22 billion dollars in donated medicines to provide about 2.6 billion dollars in treatments. However, there is more to be done, especially to build global political support to fight NTDs.

“To that end, this bill directs our flagship Global Health program PEPFAR to find opportunities to integrate NTD research and care into their existing efforts to fight HIV/AIDS, where appropriate. To lessen the U.S. burden in this fight, this bill also encourages greater participation in the research, treatment, and care of NTDs from the Global Fund, the U.N., and other G-20 partners.

“NTDs pose a significant threat to health outcomes and have a detrimental effect on developing economies. I would like to again thank Mr. Smith for his leadership on this issue, and once again to pass something in this House that will save lives. that is truly one of the most, I think, gratifying experiences that we as Members of Congress have.