Sabin President Peter Hotez, M.D, Ph.D., was honored yesterday evening with B’nai B’rith International’s Distinguished Achievement Award for advancing science and humanity, his commitment to enlightened leadership, and community service.

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are the most common affliction of the world’s poorest people. Thriving in communities that lack access to health services, adequate sanitation and clean water, NTDs blind, disable and disfigure, trapping families in a cycle of poverty and disease.

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.

More than 500 leading scientific researchers, Catholic officials and policy makers from around the globe gathered at the Vatican on November 10-12, 2016, to address neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and rare diseases. The Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, which was established by Pope John Paul II to help coordinate the Vatican’s health care related activities, convened the conference. Sabin Vaccine Institute President Dr. Peter Hotez gave the keynote address on NTDs. At the conclusion of the conference, remarks from Pope Francis were shared with conference participants. These remarks highlighted how the effort to control and eliminate NTDs aligns with the Catholic Church’s social teachings, and called for international commitment to treating and preventing NTDs and rare diseases. The complete transcript of Pope Francis’s remarks are below.

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