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AmBisome/WHO Donation Project

Active Since: 1992

Contributing to SDGs…

Gilead has worked closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and non-governmental organizations since 1992 to provide our antifungal medication, AmBisome® (amphotericin b liposome for injection), to countries in which visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is endemic.



  • Intergovernmental Organizations and Multilaterals

    World Health Organization (WHO)


    WHO handles all aspects of the program following delivery of the product from Gilead, including in-country supply chain and on the ground implementation of the program.


To provide our antifungal medication, AmBisome, to countries in which VL is endemic, in alignment with the WHO goal of eliminating VL in endemic countries by 2020.

VL is the second-largest parasitic killer in the world after malaria, responsible for approximately 40,000 deaths each year. Gilead has worked closely with WHO and non-governmental organizations since 1992 to provide our antifungal medication, AmBisome, to countries in which the disease is endemic. The program operates in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, South Sudan and Sudan, as well as other countries in the Eastern Africa sub-region and South East Asia where VL is endemic.

Gilead is one of 20 original endorsers of the ‘London Declaration’ on Neglected Tropical Diseases – a collaborative disease elimination and eradication program inspired by the WHO’s 2020 roadmap to eradicate neglected tropical diseases.

In 2011, Gilead donated 445,000 vials of AmBisome to treat more than 50,000 people over five years and provided funding to expand the number of VL treatment centers available. In 2016, Gilead provided $20 million in additional funding and drug donations to expand access for diagnostic services and VL treatment. Gilead’s current agreement to support WHO’s leishmaniasis control program extends through 2021.

Because of this ongoing commitment, today, 94 percent of patients with VL are treated through the AmBisome WHO Donation Program. While Gilead has been regularly extending its commitment, the program’s ultimate goal is to eliminate VL and terminate the need for the donation program.

In addition to treatment, the program also includes funding to support countries’ national plans and to enable WHO to expand and reinforce surveillance and control efforts in highly endemic areas, including creating a sustainable infrastructure to improve diagnosis and treatment of VL. Gilead also coordinates additional capacity building initiatives to combat VL in affected countries and to educate healthcare professionals.


"Your LAmB donation is having a huge impact. I hope you and other Gilead employees get to Bihar and have the chance to see this in person. It is Pharma at its best!"
Bill Gates
Co-Chair And Trustee, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing

  1. 3.3: Communicable Diseases & NTDs

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals 


Since 2011, Gilead has donated more than 800,000 total vials of AmBisome for this program.

The following results were shared at the 2018 Neglected Tropical Diseases Summit:

  • The proportion of VL cases treated with AmBisome has increased from less than 10 percent in 2012 to 94 percent by 2016.
  • As a result of Gilead’s support, approximately 270 health facilities are equipped to diagnose VL, provide cold chain storage and administer AmBisome in Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal – compared to less than 15 in 2011. This network of health facilities covers approximately 268 million at-risk individuals in regions where approximately 400,000 new cases of VL are identified each year.
  • In South East Asia, VL morbidity was reduced by over 82 percent and the case fatality rate decreased by 95 percent. In East Africa, the VL case fatality rate decreased by 60 percent.
  • Three South East Asian countries – Bangladesh, India and Nepal – are poised to eliminate the disease by 2020. The elimination definition (less than 1 case /10,000 population during 3 years) has been achieved in 100 percent of districts in Nepal, 97 percent of sub-districts in Bangladesh and 82 percent in India.