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Baylor’s Dr. Peter Hotez Cites Marked Improvements In Fighting Neglected Tropical Diseases In Developing Nations

Dr. Peter Hotez, the preeminent virologist, microbiologist, President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, and distinguished professor at Baylor College of Medicine where he is the founding Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, recently posted a new article on the PLOS blog that cites marked improvements in the fight to eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) in developing countries, as well as new initiatives that still need to gain traction in the public sector in order to bolster these efforts.

In his article, Dr. Hotez outlines significant progress in fighting and diminishing the widespread damaging effects of NTDs such as guinea worm (dracunculiasis), river blindness (onchocerciasis), and sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis) in over a dozen sub-Saharan African nations. These promising advancements in eliminating NTDs are the result of a concerted, geo-political effort of the part of governmental and health organization from first-world nations, such as Norway’s Health & Development International and the Georgia-based Mectizan Donation Program, the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, and the CDC, as well as developing nations themselves, who are becoming increasingly more receptive to global aid to fight the spread of these deadly and debilitating diseases. For example, Togo’s Université de Lomé have worked closely with the above-mentioned organizations to make the country the “first sub-Saharan African country to eliminate lymphatic filariasis,” thanks to help from the likes of Merck & Co. and GlaxoSmithKline who donated mass amounts of ivermectin and albendazole in a bid to neutralize the diseases.

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