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 April 17, 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 April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A 19-year-old computer science student has been arrested in relation to a data breach of 900 social insurance numbers from Canada's revenue agency. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yahoo's Ousted COO Gets $58M Severance Package

Yahoo's Ousted COO Gets $58M Severance Package

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) According to SEC filings, Yahoo gave ousted COO Henrique de Castro a $58 million severance package. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) 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