Ever wondered how you can help solve a problem as big as eliminating diseases that affect more than a billion people?
If you have, The Task Force and its Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center want to hear your ideas. The Task Force’s first-ever virtual hackathon, “Spread Truth, Not Disease” on April 17, seeks to bring new perspectives and experience to the fight to beat neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).
More than a billion people worldwide are at risk of NTDs. These infections, left untreated, can lead to disabilities such as blindness or elephantiasis (extreme swelling of the limbs), social stigma, and even death. The disabilities caused by NTDs can leave people unable to work or contribute to society, forcing themselves and their families into cycles of poverty.
In the past 40 years, a global effort to eliminate NTDs has been making great strides toward eliminating these diseases but, in order to end the suffering once and for all, there are persistent challenges that need solutions. For example, NTDs are preventable and treatable, but often people are unwilling to accept treatment due to disturbing rumors or misinformation they have heard. To solve this challenge, The Task Force is looking to undergraduate and graduate students from any discipline to form teams (four people in total) to come together on April 17 to identify creative solutions during an all-day, problem-solving sprint. The winning team will receive a $2,000 prize and the opportunity to showcase their work in a virtual booth at the “Innovation Lab” trade show during the annual 2021 meeting in November of the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD), a global meeting of researchers, program implementers and their in-country partners with the shared goal of optimizing NTD control and elimination.
Learn more about the hackathon.