WHO Crossing the billion

02 Jun 2017


Crossing the billion tells the story of a simple intervention that takes a massive effort to deliver.

Preventive chemotherapy – one of the interventions deployed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to combat at least five diseases – involves administering six medicines in seven different combinations, making it possible to treat more than one disease at a time. This publication celebrates the 10 years since the strategy of combining preventive chemotherapy and integrating strategies to treat those diseases amenable to the intervention began.

Preventive chemotherapy is one of the largest, most successful public health interventions in history, benefitting a billion people worldwide. This achievement results from the decision by governments to commit human and financial resources, the donation by pharmaceutical companies of essential medicines, and the dedication of community volunteers to distributing medicines to their neighbours.

The difference that these efforts make to the lives of individuals,families and communities is generational and is a significant part of WHO’s collective work towards more sustainable, resilient, productive and equitable societies.