OIC Nations Should Work With U.S. Partners, Others To Scale Up NTD Control, Elimination

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: Impact of the Neglected Tropical Diseases on Human Development in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Nations
Peter J. Hotez, co-editor in chief of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases and U.S. science envoy for the Middle East and North Africa; and Jennifer R. Herricks, postdoctoral fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine

“…[Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are] important because of their potential to emerge or re-emerge in the setting of conflict and post-conflict situations, as we have seen in Africa and the Middle East. Therefore, the leadership of the [Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)] may wish to further emphasize targeting the NTDs for control and elimination … [This] will require both a scale-up of global and integrated mass treatment programs, as well as the advancement of new technologies for NTDs. Given that the charter of the OIC includes scientific cooperation and advancing technologies, such efforts are within its scope. … Potential partners include programs such as the U.S. Science Envoy Program, created by the White House and State Department under the Obama administration in order to reach out scientifically to OIC countries through science and vaccine diplomacy, as well as programs like the NTD Support Center … [S]cientific cooperation could produce a new generation of ‘antipoverty’ drugs, diagnostics, and vaccines in order to combat the major NTDs now affecting selected OIC countries as well as other nations trapped in poverty” (11/25).