The International Conference on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and rare diseases was held at the Vatican from November 10-12, 2016. A report from the meeting can be found online.

On November 10, Sabin Vaccine Institute President Dr. Peter Hotez will give the keynote address on NTDs at the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers’ XXXI International Conference, focused this year on NTDs and rare diseases. The Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers was established by Pope John Paul II to help coordinate the Vatican’s health care related activities. Its work is rooted in the Church’s mission to care for the sick by dedicating its efforts to help health care workers and those serving the sick and suffering. The Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers’ XXXI International Conference will be one of its capstone events, as the Council will be assumed by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development on January 1, 2017.
The Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers is hosting an International Conference on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and rare diseases November 10-12, 2016 at the Vatican, “Towards a Culture of Health that is Welcoming and Supportive at the Service of People with Rare and Neglected Pathologies.” Sabin President Dr. Peter Hotez will deliver the opening keynote on NTDs, a patient with the NTD lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) has been invited to offer a reflection and the conference will end with an audience with Pope Francis.

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.

This past summer, I had the incredible privilege of interning with the Resource Development team at the Sabin Vaccine Institute. As someone who is passionate about global health equity, I was excited to learn more about what it means to work at non-profit within the global health field. Looking back on my experience, I am so thankful that I had the opportunity at work at Sabin and support its mission to alleviate needless human suffering from vaccine preventable and neglected tropical diseases.
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.

Photo: Sabin CEO Michael W. Marine, Ambassador (Ret.), with Former President of Ghana, John Kufuor

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