The Burden of Neglected Diseases in Developing Countries
Although with low mortality rates, neglected diseases are causing severe and permanent disabilities and deformities affecting approximately 1 billion people in the world, yielding millions of Disability Adjusted Life Years. Unfortunately, despite scientific and technological advances realized during the last century and the evidence of possible research output in the biomedical field, a large population living in developing countries, do not have access to adequate affordable treatment against infectious diseases. The reasons why the so-called neglected diseases have been given very little attention are local, national and international. First of all, these diseases affect almost exclusively extremely poor populations living in remote areas beyond the reach of health services. Secondly, they occur in developing countries where few governments are putting science, technology, and innovation at the centre of their strategies and, in the meantime, war and conflicts are financed at the expense of health services. Thirdly, little (or no) research is currently dedicated to the most neglected diseases because they offer negligible marketable and profitable issues, getting less than 10% of the global spending on health research in spite of being among diseases or conditions that account for 90% of the global disease burden. New initiatives are needed and coordination for a better efficiency should strengthen the existing projects such as Drug for Neglected Diseases Initiative, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, The Human Hookworm Vaccine initiative and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics.
KeywordsVisceral Leishmaniasis Lymphatic Filariasis Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever Buruli Ulcer Dengue Shock Syndrome
List of Abbreviations:
acquired immune defense system
disability adjusted life years
dengue hemorrhagic fever
drug for neglected diseases initiative
dengue shock syndrome
foundation for innovative new diagnostics
global alliance for vaccines and immunization
human hookworm vaccine initiative
human immunodeficiency virus
millennium development goals
organization for economic cooperation and development
United Nations Development Program
United States Agency for Development
World Health Organization
years lived with disability
years of life lost
This work is partially funded by the Program Global de Recherche of the university Mohamed Ier.
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