A newly published report by the global think tank Policy Cures Research indicates that research and development for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are receiving more funding than ever. But there is still a long way to go until these diseases of poverty are no longer burdening countries in Asia and Africa. NTD networks from Switzerland, Germany, France, Japan, India and Canada recently met in Geneva to discuss joint-activities and advance the fight against NTDs.
In 2017, more money than ever before was invested in research and development for tackling poverty-related and neglected diseases. While the figure of 3.6 billion US dollars is a good sign of progress, it is still well below WHO recommendations, as evidenced by the latest G-FINDER report from the Policy Cures Research think tank. “We are not where we need to be,” said co-author Anna Doubell during the presentation of the report in Geneva. Her reasoning: “Not a single country met the WHO target of allotting at least 0.01 percent of GDP to research into the healthcare needs of developing countries. “ In the 11-year history of the G-FINDER report, only the United States has ever reached this mark.
Neglected Tropical Diseases place a huge burden on health systems and private households in developing and emerging countries. They keep children out of school and trap adults in an endless cycle of poverty and disease. Networks across the globe have been formed to address these diseases as a community. SANTD is teaming up with NTD networks from Germany, France, Japan, Canada, UK and India to advocate for the inclusion of NTDs in national and global health strategies.
The networks recently met in Geneva for an in-depth discussion about joint-activities in 2019 and beyond. As a first step, the networks are planning to organize a symposium on NTDs during the 11th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health. By hosting a symposium, the networks hope to inspire other countries to form NTD networks and join the fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases.