In a new op-ed published by the Ottawa Citizen today, Sabin President Dr. Peter Hotez urges the world's nuclear weapons states--where high rates of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and roughly one-third of the world's parasitic worm infections occur--to "redirect scientists who work in poor countries to peacetime pursuits."

"Most North Americans and Russians are unaware that, 50 years ago, nations on both sides of the Cold War co-operated on a back channel scientific research and development effort that led to the joint development of the oral polio vaccine. Today that vaccine has become the major instrument for global polio eradication efforts.

The fact that the U.S. and Soviet Union could put aside their ideological differences shortly after the Sputnik launch at the height of the Cold War for purposes of scientific co-operation and vaccine development, suggests that India, Pakistan, and China, not to mention Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, and Syria, could do the same for neglected tropical disease vaccines."

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