Onchocerciasis

From 2000 to 2017 the Sabin Vaccine Institute partnered with the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas to develop safe, effective and low-cost vaccines for infectious and neglected tropical diseases. Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development continue this research as of May 2017.

Past Work

For more than a decade, the Sabin PDP collaborated with partners from across the globe to develop new, low-cost vaccines that have little commercial market for diseases that primarily impact the world's poorest populations, including human hookworm, schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis, SARS and Chagas disease. Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development continue this research as of May 2017.

An estimated two billion people lack the medicines they need. The 2016 Access to Medicines Index analyzes pharmaceutical companies’ efforts to improve access to medicines, vaccines and diagnostics for low- and middle-income countries.

Sabin Vaccine Institute President Dr. Peter Hotez gave the keynote address on NTDs at the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers’ XXXI International Conference, focused on NTDs and rare diseases.

River blindness, also known as onchocerciasis, has endangered Guatemalan’s eyesight since at least 1915. Last month, however, just over a century after the country’s first onchocerciasis diagnosis, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the disease officially eliminated from the Land of Eternal Spring.

Did you know that every minute, a child goes blind? Or that 80 percent of global blindness is preventable? This October 13 is World Sight Day, a day established to shed light on the impact of blindness and to raise awareness around the steps we can take to prevent it.

During my many years as a diplomat, I saw firsthand how the power of collective action can be extraordinarily important in shaping momentous changes. A few examples include: the creation of the PEPFAR program to combat HIV/AIDS, the accelerated response to terrorism following the East African embassy bombings, effective international coordination to tackle the SARS and avian flu threats, and the constructive collaboration between the United States and Vietnam on the issue of Agent Orange.

Last year, the leaders of some of the wealthiest nations pledged help control and eliminate the most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by 2020.

This article was originally posted on the DSW Blog.

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