NTDs

On December 3, Policy Cures released its fifth annual G-FINDER report , a comprehensive survey of funding for research and development for neglected diseases. The report tracks global public, private and philanthropic investments into R&D for 31 diseases, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and NTDs. In positive news, this year’€™s report shows that total funding has actually increased by $443 million since 2007. The report demonstrates that government funding, which accounts for over two-thirds of all investment, is increasingly going toward basic academic research, rather than product development. Research!America believes it is vital that the entire research pipeline be fully...
Each year on World AIDS Day , December 1, the world unites in the fight against HIV. It is estimated that 34 million people around the world are living with HIV and over 25 million people have died from the disease since 1981. The good news is that strong investments in HIV/AIDS research have resulted in remarkable scientific advances such as new prevention tools and drugs that allow individuals to manage their disease. However, there is still much more work to be done and World AIDS Day highlights the need for continued investments in research, education and improved access to treatment. It is also important to raise awareness of another category of diseases that can undermine efforts to...
The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy has prompted a renewed discussion about climate change. Political leaders and climate scientists alike have raised concerns about the relationship between global warming and an increase in the number of extreme weather events. In addition to these concerns, climate change may also increase the threat of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) here in the U.S. NTD transmission depends heavily on environmental conditions and warming temperatures may increase the severity or change the patterns of these diseases. For example, funded by a grant from the Department of Defense, researchers at Texas Tech determined that climate change will allow dengue to...
During the final presidential debate, research finally got some airtime. President Barack Obama noted that ’€œ’€¦ if we don’€™t continue to put money into research and technology that will allow us to create great businesses here in the United States, that’€™s how we lose to the competition.’€ Similarly, Mitt Romney emphasized his support for research, saying that ’€œI want to invest in research, providing funding to universities ’€¦ is great.’€ It was great to hear both candidates acknowledge the importance of research for the future. As they explained, investment in research is crucial for supporting universities, creating jobs and maintaining America’€™s competitive edge (three of...
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...
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...
On September 30, The Washington Post highlighted efforts in Haiti to eliminate lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis. A neglected tropical disease (NTD), elephantiasis is a parasitic infection spread by mosquitoes that can lead to swelling of the arms or legs ’€” sometimes severely enough that individuals with the disease are stigmatized or unable to work. The good news is that elephantiasis can be prevented with anti-parasitic medicines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Agency for International Development’€™s NTD program have taken a leadership role in administering these drugs in countries that are affected by elephantiasis. U.S. public health...
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...

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