Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Is neglected infection control better investment than nuclear weaponry?

Date:
April 27, 2010
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
For a tiny fraction of the cost of maintaining a nuclear arsenal, the 11 nuclear power states (United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel, Iran, and possibly Syria) could eliminate neglected infections within their borders -- which account for up to 50 percent of the global disease burden -- and beyond, a new editorial claims.

For a tiny fraction of the cost of maintaining a nuclear arsenal, the 11 nuclear power states (United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel, Iran, and possibly Syria) could eliminate neglected infections within their borders -- which account for up to 50% of the global disease burden -- and beyond, says a new editorial published April 27 in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

In his analysis, "Nuclear Weapons and Neglected Diseases: The 'Ten-Thousand-to-One Gap," Dr. Peter Hotez, President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Distinguished Research Professor at The George Washington University Medical Center, estimates that "the 11 nuclear weapons states together have invested at least $10 trillion on weapons production and maintenance" while "the costs for both neglected disease control and R&D come close to $1 billion, or roughly less than 1/10,000th of the estimated $10 trillion committed for nuclear weapons."

With the possible exception of the United Kingdom, each of the nuclear weapons states has a high neglected disease burden.

  • India accounts for roughly one-quarter of the world's 120 million cases of lymphatic filariasis, a disfiguring and stigmatizing vector-borne infection associated with elephantiasis.
  • Almost one-half of the world's 60-80 million trachoma cases occur in nuclear weapons states, with China having the highest number of cases of any nation.
  • Approximately one-third of the estimated 800 million ascariasis infection cases occur in nuclear weapons states, including India (140 million), China (86 million), North Korea (8 million), Pakistan (7 million), and Iran (5 million).

Investments in nuclear weaponry are carried out under the auspice of deterring war and thus promoting peace, says Hotez, but these and additional benefits can be achieved through neglected disease funding. Increased investments in neglected disease research could control or eliminate neglected infections, support achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, stabilize and build nations, and reduce civil strife and international tensions.

"Great efforts are needed to engage leaders of the nuclear weapons states in a frank dialogue about reallocation of resources toward public health and scientific pursuits for neglected tropical disease R&D and control," says Hotez.

"In the coming decade, engaging the nuclear powers on neglected disease R&D and global implementation efforts [would] represent a significant diplomatic victory for the world," he concludes in the editorial.


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. Nuclear Weapons and Neglected Diseases: The "Ten-Thousand-to-One Gap". PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 2010; 4 (4): e680 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000680

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Is neglected infection control better investment than nuclear weaponry?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427171651.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2010, April 27). Is neglected infection control better investment than nuclear weaponry?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427171651.htm
Public Library of Science. "Is neglected infection control better investment than nuclear weaponry?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427171651.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Urgent-Care Clinics Ill-Equipped to Treat Ebola

Urgent-Care Clinics Ill-Equipped to Treat Ebola

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Urgent-care clinics popping up across the US are not equipped to treat a serious illness like Ebola and have been told to immediately call a hospital and public health officials if they suspect a patient may be infected. (Oct. 21) 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

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