Global health security is defined as stopping the spread of infectious diseases and drug resistance across borders. Its a concept being put into action by the Global Health Security Agenda, a commitment by over 50 member countries, NGOs and international donors to assess and improve health systems to stop outbreaks, as happened with Ebola in West Africa, turning into epidemics. We review progress on malaria and on neglected tropical diseases as detailed in the 2017 annual report of UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, entitled "Global Britain in the Fight against Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases".
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day, December 12th, focusses on achieving Health for All by expanding UHC, a key SDG, to low and middle-income countries and ensuring that it also reaches the poorest in wealthy countries. Everyone should have access to basic health services without suffering financial hardship. The G7 Ise-shima meeting linked it to achieving better health systems and the global health security agenda. WE discuss what LMIC provide as basic health services and what NGOs and the public health community would like to further include (neglected tropical diseases and provision for refugees and migrant workers in host countries).
Latin America is doing far better at controlling and ultimately eliminating rabies from the region than Africa. Latin America uses dog vaccination; Africa relies on post-exposure prophylaxis. Can the lessons learned in Latin America be applied or adapted to Africa? At RSTMH “Challenges in Disease Elimination”, [September 12-16th, 2016], Dr Katie Hampson described the PAHO surveillance & management framework operating in Mexico and Brazil, devised to support the elimination of rabies in 25 PAHO countries, which could be adapted. Tanzanian researchers have developed a targeted surveillance system to improve case detection for the African setting where resources are constrained.
The recognition of Mycetoma: much needed attention finally given to long neglected tropical disease (NTD)
In May 2016 at the 69th World Health Assembly, mycetoma was added to the World Health Organization's list of neglected tropical diseases. I did not know that mycetoma is a destructive fungal (eumycetoma) or bacterial infection (actinomycetes) of the foot that results in disfigurement and social stigma, and is linked to poverty. I did not know there was a mycetoma belt with most cases reported from India, Mexico, Sudan, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Somalia and Yemen. If mycetoma was unfamiliar to me, how many other people had never heard of this disease?
A new society has been born – the International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases. The society’s reason for existence is to provide a space where people from different disciplines can meet and develop new ways to control neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). I went to their inaugural conference. The talks were many and varied as was…
Professor Peter Hotez told some shocking truths in his talk about neglected tropical diseases at the APHA conference in San Diego this week. Some of these diseases are taking hold in the southern USA.