Switzerland plays an important role in the fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). In a recent speech, Thomas Gass, Vice-Director General of the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), highlighted how Switzerland is addressing the global challenge of NTDs.
“The right to health is not a luxury — it is a human right”, said SDC Vice-Director General Thomas Gass during the European Development Days in Brussels. Gass pointed out that “a third of the people affected with NTDs lack access to treatment, because the medicines that exist do not reach them, or because there is simply no effective medicine for the particular disease.” Switzerland, Gass continued, will not accept this unbearable situation.
Speaking about Swiss contributions to lessen the global burden of NTDs, Gass highlighted collaborations with SANTD members Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) for the development of new diagnostics and medicines.
SANTD is happy to see a global spotlight on Swiss contributions to the fight against NTDs. Switzerland can be proud of its achievements in Research & Development, but more resources are required to truly end the neglected of tropical diseases. In this regard, SANTD welcomes Gass’ statement that “research has to go beyond the development of medical products and has to be translated into the implementation of multi-sectoral plans against NTDs”.
The full speech of SDC Vice-Director General Thomas Gass is available here.