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Comprehensive Approach To NTDs 'Fosters Social Equity'

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) “are diseases of socially excluded populations that promote poverty by relatively depriving individuals from basic capabilities and freedoms,” Carlos Franco-Paredes of the Children’s Hospital of Mexico and Jose Santos-Preciado of the Faculty of Medicine at the National Autonomous University of Mexico write in this PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases editorial. The authors examine “[t]he social pathways of becoming ill with an NTD” which “include socially determined failures including widespread illiteracy, malnutrition, poor living conditions, unemployment and the overall failure of ownership relations in the form of entitlements.”

“Preventing, treating and rehabilitating those at risk of or suffering from NTDs will promote people’s capabilities and opportunities and return a sense of dignity and self-realization into their lives,” the authors write, concluding, “In this sense, targeting NTDs in a comprehensive fashion represents a clear and feasible poverty alleviation strategy that ultimately fosters social equity” (8/30).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.