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v2.1 Reference

Under the Big Tree

Extraordinary Stories from the Movement to End Neglected Tropical Diseases

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.

About the Authors

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.

Endorsements

"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."

- George Stephanopoulos, Chief Anchor, ABC News

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

- Gilbert Burnham, MD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

"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."

- Adrian Hopkins, MD, Mectizan Donation Program

"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."

- Adam Grant, New York Times-bestselling author of Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

"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."

- Elie Hassenfeld, Cofounder and Executive Director, GiveWell

"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."

- Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

"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."

- Margaret Chan, former Director-General, World Health Organization
Johns Hopkins University Press
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