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Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

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Kenya Launches 5-Year Strategic Plan To Fight NTDs

“The Kenyan government launched a five-year national master-plan on Thursday to address neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that have become a public health challenge in remote parts of the country,” making Kenya “the first country in Africa to launch a broad-based strategic plan on combating neglected tropical ailments that include bilharzia, trachoma, kalaazar, intestinal worms, elephantiasis and Hydatid disease,” Africa Science News reports. “Minister for Public Health and Sanitation Beth Mugo said this strategic plan dovetails with her ministry’s ‘vision of transforming Kenya into a nation free from preventable diseases and ill health,'” the news service writes (Mwaura, 11/11).

Pharmaceutical Industry Should Invest More In NTDs

In this Forbes opinion piece, contributor Sarika Bansal examines “[w]hat needs to happen for the pharmaceutical industry, academic researchers, and other key players [to] begin investing more seriously in” efforts to address neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). She writes, “Since the term [NTD] was coined [in 2005], there has been considerable activity in the neglected disease space from governments, donors, pharmaceutical companies, and nonprofits alike,” but the status quo “has not yet changed nearly enough, and there is ample room for the pharmaceutical industry to invest more in NTDs.”

Four-Year Kala Azar Treatment Study Launched In India, Bangladesh

“A four-year test of drugs to treat a widespread parasitic disease called kala azar was announced on Monday by the governments of India and Bangladesh, Doctors Without Borders, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative [DNDi] and other groups,” the New York Times reports. Kala azar, also known as visceral leishmaniasis, is transmitted by sand flies and affects approximately 500,000 people worldwide at any one time. The disease can cause skin boils, and, if left untreated, can also “cause persistent fever, weight loss, an enlarged spleen and … death,” the newspaper notes.

CGD Releases Report On Improving Clinical Trials, Regulatory Pathways For Fighting Neglected Diseases

The Center for Global Development (CGD) last week released a new report on global health, the Global Health Technology Coalition’s “Breakthroughs” blog reports. The report — the product of a working group that included representatives from donor groups, philanthropy groups, product development partnerships (PDPs), consulting firms, the pharmaceutical industry, government,…

NTDs Among America’s Poor Populations Must Be Addressed

“[T]he number of Americans living in poverty is at an all-time high, … with close to 50 million people living below the poverty line,” Peter Hotez, founding dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, writes in an Austin-American Statesman opinion piece, adding, “We desperately need a national dialogue about the unique afflictions of the bottom 50 million, paying particular attention to their neglected tropical diseases [NTDs], which represent important stealth reasons trapping them in a vicious cycle of poverty” (10/26).

WHO Releases Updated NTD Report

The WHO has released an updated version (.pdf) of its first report on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), which was released last year. In the introduction of the new report, Lorenzo Savioli, director of the WHO Department of Control of NTDs, writes, “Despite a difficult economic outlook, we believe that immense opportunities exist…

USAID’s Bureau For Global Health Awards Envision Project To RTI

Since the 2006 launch of USAID’s Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Control Program, which is managed by RTI, “more than 447 million NTD treatments have been provided to more than 82 million people,” the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases’ “End the Neglect” blog reports, adding, “To add to this success, USAID’s…

Virtual Platform For Intellectual Property Sharing Aims To Speed Development Of Drug Treatments

“The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) launched a consortium on Wednesday that would allow the public and private sector to share intellectual property to promote the development of new drugs to treat diseases such as malaria,” Reuters reports (10/26). “Under the agreement between [WIPO], … the companies and the non-profit BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH), public and private sector organizations will share valuable intellectual property (IP) and expertise with the global health research community on WIPO Re:Search, a virtual platform,” the U.N. News Centre writes (10/26).

Report Showcases High Burden Of NTDs In India, South Asia

The open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases on Tuesday “published a comprehensive report showcasing the disproportionately high burden of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in India and South Asia,” the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Disease’s “End the Neglect” blog reports. “These diseases of poverty continue to plague the 1.5 billion people…

World Health Summit Provides Platform To Discuss Incorporating NTDs Into MDGs

In anticipation of next week’s 2011 World Health Summit in Berlin, Germany, Neeraj Mistry, managing director of the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Disease, recaps gains in the treatment and prevention of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) around the world through the commitment of the U.S., the U.K. and other G8…