A recently released report, entitled "Social and Economic Impact Review on Neglected Tropical Diseases," highlights links between neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and socio-economic prosperity. Published by Hudson Institute's Center for Science in Public Policy, in partnership with the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, an initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, the paper found NTD control and elimination efforts to be both inexpensive and highly effective, especially when paired with other major disease treatment efforts, making NTD programs one of the most cost-effective public health interventions available.
"Based on our efforts in compiling this review, we can say with confidence that NTD control and elimination is one of the best buys in global public health," said Dr. Jeremiah Norris, director of the Center for Science in Public Policy at Hudson Institute. "The crucial next step is to use this evaluation as a catalyst for prioritizing NTD programs worldwide."
NTDs are a group of parasitic and bacterial diseases that infect more than 1 billion people around the world, most of whom live below the poverty line. These diseases cause malnutrition and anemia, pregnancy complications, blindness, disfigurement and delays to physical and cognitive growth among children, often perpetuating the poverty of those they infect. For a cost of approximately 50 cents per person annually, a packet of pills can treat and protect against these diseases. Pharmaceutical companies donate most of the treatments and many programs use existing infrastructure, such as schools and community centers, to administer them.