The END Fund

The END Fund

Deworming Program

The END Fund supports country-led programs that control and eliminate intestinal worms, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis, river blindness, trachoma, and visceral leishmaniasis. This includes delivering NTD treatments to children and adults, providing surgeries to prevent blindness and disability, and training healthcare workers in the hardest-to-reach communities to promote long-term sustainability.

What problem is The END Fund’s deworming programme working on?

The END Fund is dedicated to ending neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that impact the lives of 1.65 billion people around the world, of which nearly 1 billion are children.

The END Fund reports that a child with a moderate worm infection has, on average, 200 parasitic worms in their belly, each 30 centimeters long (longer than a standard #2 pencil). These worms can cause malnutrition, stunted physical and cognitive development, long-term damage, and even death as a result of intestinal obstructions.Worms also zap the energy out of affected individuals, thereby making it less likely for children to attend or focus in school and for adults to be productive. Ultimately, intestinal worms and schistosomiasis make it harder for a person to lead a full and productive life.

Yet, these diseases are mind-blowingly inexpensive to treat, and the END Fund believes that the sickness they cause can be effectively prevented, and even eliminated, in our lifetime. Deworming pills have already been generously donated by pharmaceutical companies. As such, the END Fund reports that it costs less than $0.50 per person per year to deliver them to communities at risk for these parasitic diseases.

What does The END Fund do?

The END Fund mobilises funding from investors and works with expert in-country partners to deliver life-changing deworming medicines to where they will have the most impact. The END Fund focuses on supporting interventions aimed at controlling and eliminating intestinal worms, schistosomiasis, and other NTDs by:

  • Raising and directing money for NTD control and elimination efforts through outreach; awareness-building; and engagement with investors and leaders within the private and public sectors.
  • Managing high-impact strategic investments with the aim of ending widespread NTDs by 2030, identifying key investment gaps and opportunities and helping build coalitions and collaborations.
  • Working with NGOs to design and implement NTD programmes in a format and location that will be most appropriate and effective.
  • Providing technical and strategic support to partner organisations, institutions, industry, and governments; and managing grants.
  • Conducting monitoring and evaluation to understand the impact of interventions, and help advance the knowledge base of the NTD and global health communities.

As of 2023, the END Fund and its partners have provided over 1.5 billion NTD treatments since its founding in 2012, with a reported 284 million treatments delivered to more than 201 million people in 2022 alone.

What information does Giving What We Can have about the cost-effectiveness of The END Fund’s deworming programme?1.

The impact-focused evaluator Founders Pledge conducted an internal analysis of the cost-effectiveness of The END Fund’s deworming programme in 2023 with a favourable conclusion. The END Fund’s deworming programme was also previously one of our recommended charities due to GiveWell’s inclusion of it as a top-rated giving opportunity from 2016 to 2022. GiveWell’s decision to no longer recommend The END Fund’s deworming programme was not based on any shift in thinking about The END Fund, but rather a change in GiveWell’s top charity criteria.

Some research shows that deworming has positive effects on improved life outcomes like school attendance and income earnings. There is also some uncertainty surrounding findings that link deworming programmes to improved life outcomes — see GiveWell’s in-depth report on the case for mass deworming.

Please note that GWWC does not evaluate individual charities. Our recommendations are based on the research of third-party, impact-focused charity evaluators our research team has found to be particularly well-suited to help donors do the most good per dollar, according to their recent evaluator investigations. Our other supported programs are those that align with our charitable purpose — they are working on a high-impact problem and take a reasonably promising approach (based on publicly-available information).

At Giving What We Can, we focus on the effectiveness of an organisation's work -- what the organisation is actually doing and whether their programs are making a big difference. Some others in the charity recommendation space focus instead on the ratio of admin costs to program spending, part of what we’ve termed the “overhead myth.” See why overhead isn’t the full story and learn more about our approach to charity evaluation.