An Example To Follow: Japan's Historic Commitment To Infectious Disease Control
Op-ed by Tsutomu Takeuchi and Alvaro Arzú Irigoyen in the Huffington Post:
Posted: 06/11/2013 10:49 am
TOKYO, JAPAN -- A commonly known Japanese proverb states "to begin is easy; to continue is hard." This sentiment is something that the international development world knows all too well, especially when it comes to the ambitious agenda of the Group of Eight (G8). In the days leading up to this year's G8 summit, we look to members of the G8 to follow through on their commitments from past meetings -- particularly as they relate to improvements to global health and welfare.
Tackling diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, as well as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) is not only critical to the G8's work to improve global health, but also to reduce poverty and inequality. NTDs in particular are "diseases of poverty." Commonly found in parts of the world that lack resources, including clean water and sanitation. NTDs cause malnutrition, undermine worker productivity and prevent children from going to school. These diseases place those most at risk in an endless cycle of poverty that can only be broken through a sustained commitment to prevention and treatment.