Still playing on loop on the Toshiba superscreen in Times Square, here is another MDG-themed PSA from the UN Foundation, urging everyone to fulfill their role in achieving the MDGs:
Archive for the Congressional Briefing category
A new list of reads to start off your week! Last week, the Global Network hosted a Congressional Briefing on NTD control – check out a synopsis from VOA News (linked below). Also on today’s reading list, global commitment to eliminate elephantiasis, aid workers’ return to Haiti, and the role of scientists in vaccine development.
Researchers, USAID Seek More Money To Fight NTDs, Nico Colombant, VOA News Global Health Partnership on Track to Eliminate Elephantiasis by 2020, PR Newswire Wounded Carroll County Aid Workers Return to Haiti, Nick Madigan, The Baltimore Sun Researchers are out of race for the top job, Financial Times
On Thursday the Global Network hosted a congressional briefing, “Can NTDs be Eliminated?” in conjunction with the Congressional Malaria and Neglected Tropical Disease Caucus. Representatives from the U.S. government and several global health and international development organizations attended to hear the expert panelists, Dr. Peter Hotez of the Sabin Vaccine Institute; Dr. Christy Hanson from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and Mr. Ken Gustavsen from Merck &Co., and to contribute to the discussion moderated by Steve Sternberg, Medical Reporter from USA TODAY. The briefing focused on the successes of NTD interventions and programs to date, and the future of NTD control and elimination efforts.
It the wake of the recent Manifesto for Advancing the Control and Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases, published by Dr. Hotez, the panel discussion focused on what new funding and operational resources must be mobilized if we are to eliminate the seven most common NTDs. Dr. Hotez painted a clear picture of the 1.4 billion people infected with NTDs, one of chronic disability and disfigurement that prevents entire populations from achieving appropriate levels of cognitive development, attending school, getting proper nutrients, earning a living wage and becoming productive members of their communities. All panelists emphasized the availability of low cost interventions that have been proven to reduce morbidity and pave the way for elimination of many of these diseases as public health threats.
Dr. Hanson who has led the expansion of USAID’s NTD Initiative in 14 countries, added that scaling up of the existing programs “is not a problem of capacity, but one of funding,” and that in most countries, governments are ready and willing to implement NTD programs. She also expressed how excited she was that the Obama Administration demonstrated its commitment to fight against NTDs in its Global Health Initiative.
Mr. Gustavsen, who works with Merck & Co.’s Mectizan Donation Program which donates $605 million dollars worth of Mectizan every year to combat onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis, discussed the continued need for private-public partnerships. He also stressed that while mass drug administration programs (MDA) are proving successful, more research and development resources are needed to develop new drugs and treatments for NTDs. Both Mr. Gustavsen and Dr. Hanson added that while taking a more holistic approach to NTD control and combining disease specific, vertical interventions has proven effective, the NTD community cannot afford to lose sight of individual disease experts, goals, and commitments.
The discussion yesterday was instrumental in reinforcing joint successes, and what steps are necessary in the future if control and elimination of NTDs is to become a reality. The Global Network would like to thank Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ) and Rep. John Boozman (R-AR) for their help in coordinating this briefing as well as for their continued support in the fight against NTDs. The Global Network would also like to extend our deepest thanks to the panelists, Dr. Hotez, Dr. Hanson, and Mr. Gustavsen, and our moderator, Mr. Sternberg. Their knowledge and passion on this subject made the discussion both informative and inspiring.
- The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases is a major advocacy and resource mobilization initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute dedicated to raising the awareness, political will, and funding necessary to control and eliminate the most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)--a group of disabling, disfiguring, and deadly diseases affecting more than 1.4 billion people worldwide living on less than $1.25 a day.
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