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International Public Health Spending Ignores Neglected Tropical Diseases, Some Experts Argue

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism examines what some experts are calling a serious inequity in public health spending, writing that neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) “together kill more people than maternal mortality and have a higher disease burden than malaria or [tuberculosis (TB)] and nearing that of HIV/AIDS. However, despite the severity of the situation, funding for NTDs is just a fraction of that spent on other diseases.”

The article focuses on preventing and treating lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic disease transmitted by mosquitoes that can cause elephantitis. David Molyneux, emeritus professor at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, said, “Treating NTDs is the best buy in public health. If we want to spend our aid money wisely then there is no better option than NTDs, we know our treatments work and they are cheap and they save lives. It’s a no brainer,” the news agency reports (McClenaghan, 9/5).