Neglected diseases: Teach or treat?

Scientists are taking the debate over how to address neglected tropical diseases to the pages of PLoS Medicine, with one camp arguing in favor of more drug development, and another pushing for more funding and research on public health strategies such as sanitation and education. In 2005, researchers coined the term "neglected tropical diseases" to refer to thirteen diseases primarily occurring in rural, poor areas that have been largely ignored by policymakers and public health officials. Thes

Megan Scudellari
May 17, 2010
Scientists are taking the debate over how to address neglected tropical diseases to the pages of PLoS Medicine, with one camp arguing in favor of more drug development, and another pushing for more funding and research on public health strategies such as sanitation and education. In 2005, researchers coined the term "neglected tropical diseases" to refer to thirteen diseases primarily occurring in rural, poor areas that have been largely ignored by policymakers and public health officials. These diseases, including sleeping sickness, river blindness, hookworm infection and more, traditionally fall second in attention and funding to "the big three" -- HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.
A mass drug administration in Mali
Image: www.neglecteddiseases.gov,
Albis Cabrelle
In the last five years, however, neglected tropical diseases are have experienced a hike in funding from private and government sources, including a linkurl:recent boost;http://www.neglecteddiseases.gov/ from the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama. But there is disagreement...
PLoS Medicine,PLoS Medicine.J.M. Spiegel et al. "Which new approaches to tackling neglected tropical diseases show promise?," PLoS Medicine 7(5):e1000255.