Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Controlling Neglected Tropical Diseases May Be Key To US Foreign Policy

Date:
January 29, 2009
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Stating that neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) not only promote poverty but also destabilize communities, experts call upon the public-health and foreign-policy communities to embrace medical diplomacy and NTD control as a means to combat terrorism.

Stating that neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) not only promote poverty but also destabilize communities, former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson and Sabin Vaccine Institute President Peter Hotez call upon the public-health and foreign-policy communities to embrace medical diplomacy and NTD control as a means to combat terrorism.

Thompson and Hotez make a strong case for the new U.S. presidential administration to engage in medical diplomacy as a critical piece of its foreign policy agenda in a new article. Defining medical diplomacy as "the winning of hearts and minds of people in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and elsewhere by exporting medical care, expertise, and personnel to help those who need it most," the authors say that strengthening U.S. efforts to eliminate NTDs would help end the cycle of poverty in areas of conflict and promote peace and economic prosperity.

The authors cite recent scientific analysis of the adverse impact of NTDs on agricultural productivity, education, future wage earnings, and the health of mothers and children in low-income countries, demonstrating the "multiple and intimate connections between pervasive NTDs and conflict." They note that many nations that are considered diplomatic "hot spots" for the United States exhibit high rates of NTDs, with up to 50% of their populations suffering from one or more NTD.

"As the most common afflictions in the world's areas of conflict and strife, and among the most common bases for diminished agricultural productivity, food insecurity, ignorance, and community destabilization, NTDs represent an obvious target for medical diplomacy," says Hotez, President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, Distinguished Research Professor and Walter G. Ross Professor & Chair of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine at The George Washington University School of Medicine. "NTD control is also highly cost-effective, with treatment of the seven most common NTDs averaging a remarkable 50 cents per person, per year."

"Acts of compassion destroy the rhetoric of terrorists, and the world responds best to America when it provides medical humanitarian relief to the world's war-torn and poorest regions," says former Secretary Thompson, Global Ambassador of the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases. "President [Barack] Obama and Secretary of State [Hillary] Clinton have a unique opportunity to engage in proven effective medical diplomacy strategies aimed at eliminating NTDs and fostering global prosperity and stability."

NTDs are devastating, debilitating, and deadly diseases that affect 1.4 billion people living on less than US$1.25 a day. Control or elimination of several NTDs, including ascariasis, trichuriasis, lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, and onchocerciasis, can be achieved for a fraction of the cost of treatment for HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis. The authors note that, "in practical terms, this means that the entire at-risk populations of war-torn areas and areas of conflict in sub-Saharan Africa could be treated for one year at roughly the cost of one or two F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hotez PJ, Thompson TG (2009). Waging Peace through Neglected Tropical Disease Control: A US Foreign Policy for the Bottom Billion. PLoS Negl Trop Dis, 3(1): e346 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000346

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Controlling Neglected Tropical Diseases May Be Key To US Foreign Policy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126203203.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2009, January 29). Controlling Neglected Tropical Diseases May Be Key To US Foreign Policy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126203203.htm
Public Library of Science. "Controlling Neglected Tropical Diseases May Be Key To US Foreign Policy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126203203.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins