Instead Of ‘Reactive Funding Surges,’ U.S. Needs To Take ‘Comprehensive Approach’ To Accelerate Eradication Of Disease Threats
The Hill: Malaria and other neglected diseases are the itch that must be scratched
Ashley Birkett, director of the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI)
“…A new report from the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) highlights some … funding problems. The U.S. government’s investment in research and development (R&D) for neglected diseases like malaria, TB, and HIV/AIDS has stagnated … Echoing these findings is peer-reviewed research just released in The Lancet, which said that a shift in funding away from malaria in particular could endanger elimination efforts in countries … right on the verge of finally beating the disease. What funding the United States has provided is helping to generate a significant number of promising drugs, vaccine approaches, and other technologies. … Here in the United States, we are supremely lucky that most of us don’t have to deal with the consequences of these diseases on a daily basis, but that makes it easy for us to become complacent — particularly when disease incidence is on a downward trajectory. … The next global epidemic will always be lying in wait unless we’re stocked with the right weapons to fight them. Instead of reactive funding surges, we need a more comprehensive approach so that we can accelerate the eradication of all of these neglected diseases…” (5/2).