Like Causes?

Install the App

house Bill H.R. 4847

Funding the Fight Against Tropical Diseases

Argument in favor

This bill would add fuel to the fight against some of the worst diseases on the planet.

Argument opposed

The U.S. is already leading research on these diseases, and other countries need to pull their weight.

What is House Bill H.R. 4847?

This bill would fund new research and treatments for neglected tropical diseases (NTD) in the United States and in other countries.

H.R. 4847 defines NTDs as types of pathogens that disproportionately affect individuals living in poverty, typically in developing countries. Think infections and diseases like Ebola, rabies, leprosy, trypanosomiasis, and elephantiasis.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over two billion people live in regions where they risk contracting NTDs. These diseases are responsible for more than half a million deaths each year and tens of millions of disabilities.

If enacted, this bill would direct the USAID to expand its NTDs Program's education and treatment components for individuals suffering from tropical diseases. USAID would also be responsible for coordinating the activities of existing treatment programs that target specific NTDs.


People at risk of contracting NTDs, the USAID, the National Institute of Health, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4847

A CBO cost estimate is not available at this time.

More Information

In Depth:

Under H.R. 4847, USAID and the U.N. would be required to increase research efforts into tropical diseases, including:
  • monitoring contagion patterns,
  • creating disease prevention educational campaigns,
  • finding ways to treat and eliminate NTDs.
Domestically, the bill would mandate that the Secretary of Health and Human Services submit a report to Congress on the status of NTDs in the United States. The Secretary would also be able to grant funding to private and public entities that are researching NTDs or providing services for individuals afflicted by them.
Lastly, the Director of the National Institutes of Health would need to assemble a panel of experts to brainstorm strategies for fighting the spread of parasitic worms.

Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) introduced this bill in June, shortly before West Africa’s Ebola outbreak spread to Lagos, Nigeria, one of Africa’s most densely populated cities. Smith — who is the chairman of the Africa/Global Health/Global Human Rights subcommittee — recently promised to amend H.R. 4847 to include Ebola in the list of NTDs.

The House of Representatives also introduced a resolution expressing concern for the largest outbreak of Ebola ever recorded. H.Res. 701 also requests that the U.S. government address the disease’s potential threat to public health in the United States and abroad.


Sponsoring Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ) Press Release

Sponsoring Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ) Ebola News Release

GNN Liberia

(Photo Credit: Flickr user EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection)


End Neglected Tropical Diseases Act

Official Title

To facilitate effective research on and treatment of neglected tropical diseases through coordinated domestic and international efforts.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Financial Services
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedJune 11th, 2014