global health

Source: CDC On World Polio Day, established by Rotary International , the global health community comes together to celebrate successes and renew commitments to eliminate polio once and for all. Polio is a highly infectious disease and can cause irreversible paralysis, but thanks to past research efforts, there is a polio vaccine that can prevent the disease. This year, World Polio Day is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). Launched in 2008 by the World Health Organization, Rotary International, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United Nations Children’€™s Fund, GPEI is playing a critical role in the final push...
Since 1992, when the United Nations declared October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty , the world has come together on this day to recognize those who suffer and to renew commitments to fight poverty. This year, the U.N. is raising awareness of the violence and discrimination that accompanies extreme poverty. In addition to the threat of violence, the conditions of extreme poverty dramatically increase the risk of contracting neglected tropical diseases , a group of parasitic and bacterial infections that disproportionately affect people in poverty. This year, we must also raise awareness of NTDs and the research necessary to eliminate these diseases that affect...
We extend our deepest condolences to Senator Arlen Specter’s family, friends and colleagues as they mourn the passing of a loved and respected statesman and a true champion of medical research. Specter’s leadership in generating critical support for medical and health research is a testament to his dedication to improving the health of all Americans and securing our position as a global leader in science and innovation. As a congressional leader, Specter played a pivotal role in the doubling of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget over five years and two Administrations and in 2009 assured that funding for the NIH and other health agencies were included in the American Recovery...
Why do you think we should be investing in global health research and development? Research!America has just released ’€œTop 10 Reasons Why the U.S. Should Invest in Global Health R&D.’€ This evidence-based list provides compelling reasons why these investments are critical for the U.S., ranging from the humanitarian benefits to research as a powerful driver of U.S. economic activity. The list can be found on Research!America’€™s new Global Health R&D Advocacy website . The site introduces Research!America’€™s new initiative for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), including a recently released fact sheet on NTDs in the U.S. Additional NTD resources include a global health budget...
On October 11 th , World Sight Day , the World Health Organization will raise awareness about visual impairment around the world, as well as their Vision 2020 initiative aimed at eliminating avoidable blindness by 2020. WHO estimates that 285 million people worldwide are visually impaired and about 39 million of those individuals are permanently blind. However, up to 80% of these cases are due to preventable causes like cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes, trachoma and onchocerciasis. The last two causes on that list may not sound familiar ’€“ trachoma and onchocerciasis are two types of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), diseases that have historically received little attention despite...
Brian Vastag, science reporter at The Washington Post, recently found himself infected with the very disease he had been reporting on for months: West Nile virus. Detailing the raging fevers, interrupted sleep patterns and tingling in his arms and feet, he called himself a ’€œWest Nile zombie.’€ Brian’€™s story highlights the importance of research to develop new prevention, diagnostic and treatment methods for West Nile virus. It took eight weeks and several doctors before an infectious-disease specialist was able to correctly diagnose him with West Nile. Once diagnosed, he still had to endure the fevers, joint aches, headaches and interrupted work and simply wait for the virus to go away...
On September 29 th , World Heart Day , the global health community will raise awareness about cardiovascular disease (CVD). Cardiovascular diseases range from heart failure, meaning the heart is not pumping enough blood, to a heart attack, which happens when blood vessels are damaged and blood flow to the heart is blocked. An estimated 17.3 million people died from CVD in 2008 and over 80% of all CVD deaths occur in low and middle income countries. This year, we are also raising awareness of one of CVD’€™s ’€œhidden causes’€ : neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), and of the research necessary to combat these killers. A group of parasitic and bacterial infections that disproportionately...
On September 21 st , Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) announced that the Senate Malaria Working Group was turning into an official Senate congressional caucus focused on combating 17 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in addition to malaria. With NTDs affecting over 1.4 billion people worldwide and documented cases of NTDs here in the U.S., this commitment to finding new solutions is good news. Past U.S. government involvement in the fight against NTDs has yielded promising results. The National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense have funded crucial basic research for NTDs. Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have implemented strong...
On Friday, September 7, at the National Institutes of Health campus, the Trans-NIH Global Health Working Group hosted a lecture titled, ’€œRapid, automated diagnostics for tuberculosis: a potential new benchmark.’€ Mark Perkins, MD, who has worked at the Global Tuberculosis Programme of the World Health Organization and is currently the chief scientific officer at the Foundation for New Innovative Diagnostics (FIND), discussed the development of a new testing method for tuberculosis. Identified as the cause of death for 1.4 million individuals in 2010, including people in the United States , TB is a significant global health concern. However, it is consistently underdiagnosed due to...
As reported in the Washington Post, the number of West Nile virus cases in the U.S. is on the rise. Traditionally a disease that affects people in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, 48 states in the U.S. have reported cases in 2012 alone. Nearly 2,000 cases and 87 deaths, including one Wednesday in DC, have been reported overall. The West Nile virus, a neglected tropical disease or NTD, can cause flu-like symptoms or, in severe cases, even brain damage. Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, director of the Texas-based product development partnership Sabin Vaccine Institute, recently wrote a New York Times op-ed addressing the increasing thread of West Nile right here in the U.S., ’€œTropical Disease: The...

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If concerted, long-term investments in research are not made, America will lose an entire generation of young scientists.
Brenda Canine, PhD; McLaughlin Research Institute, Montana