November 1, 2011 | The Hindu

By Narayan Lakshman

Even as the world welcomed the seven billionth member of the global population this week, medical researchers warned that rapid-growth economies such as India’s still had a high proportion of morbidity with more than 290 million Indians suffering from Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

In an article on A Disproportionate Burden of NTDs found in India and South Asia, tropical diseases scientists said that although India and South Asia had made significant economic progress, NTDs continued to perpetuate a cycle of poverty among its most disadvantaged populations.

These NTDs include visceral leishmaniasis, also known as “kala-azar,” lymphatic filariasis, which causes elephantiasis, leprosy, dengue fever, rabies and soil transmitted helminth.

Speaking to The Hindu Peter Hotez, an author of the report and President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute in the United States, highlighted the strong link between NTDs and poverty, noting that many cases of NTDs had even occurred in the U.S. wherever poverty had been found.

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