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.

Sabin Vaccine Institute President Dr. Peter Hotez gave the keynote address on NTDs at the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers’ XXXI International Conference, focused on NTDs and rare diseases.

During my many years as a diplomat, I saw firsthand how the power of collective action can be extraordinarily important in shaping momentous changes. A few examples include: the creation of the PEPFAR program to combat HIV/AIDS, the accelerated response to terrorism following the East African embassy bombings, effective international coordination to tackle the SARS and avian flu threats, and the constructive collaboration between the United States and Vietnam on the issue of Agent Orange.

Last year, the leaders of some of the wealthiest nations pledged help control and eliminate the most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by 2020.

During the month of October, END7 student supporters are celebrating NTD Success Stories — spreading the exciting news that many countries around the world have already made incredible progress towards the control and elimination of some NTDs. In recent weeks, there have been many new successes to celebrate.

Earlier this month the United Kingdom’s Houses of Parliament met on two separate occasions to discuss global health priorities  with debates on global health research and development and health systems strengthening.

Results released by the U.S. Government (USG) in September reveal that since fiscal year (FY) 2009, more than $50 billion has been invested by the USG in foreign assistance for health, saving millions of lives.

What do neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) have to do with women’s health? A recent review entitled, “Effective Health Interventions for Adolescents That Could Be Integrated with Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Programs”, has just been published looking at how combining multiple health interventions with human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations increases the effectiveness of HPV delivery.

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