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Opinion Pieces, Editorial Address World Health Day Issues

The following opinion pieces and editorial discuss issues surrounding World Health Day, recognized on April 7 and this year focused on vector-borne diseases.

CNN: World Health Day: The neglected diseases that plague 1 in 6
Neeraj Mistry, managing director of the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases

“…It’s easy to focus on the bleak side of NTDs, but the truth is their control and elimination potentially represents the next major public health success story. … When treatments are given to a community over a sustained period of five to seven years, elimination of NTDs as a public health threat is achievable. … It is paramount global leaders prioritize NTDs on the post-2015 development agenda to make NTDs a plague of the past…” (4/7).

Devex: Governments need to ‘join up and scale up’ on health
Tanya Barron, CEO of Plan U.K.

“…The approaching deadline for the Millennium Development Goals presents us with a real opportunity. Now … is the time for bold steps toward realizing the right to health for all. That means deep reflection on how we need to shape our approach to global health going forward. For me, one word stands out: integration. … More than 60 years on from the first World Health Day, we live in times of great uncertainty. But that should not obscure the fact that the world has sufficient resources and tools to bring child deaths from unpreventable causes down to zero…” (4/7).

Financial Express: Editorial: Once bitten
“In advance of the World Health Day, April 7, WHO has warned that close to half of the world population is now at risk from vector-borne diseases. While mosquito-borne dengue is the world’s most rapidly spreading vector-borne disease — 2.5 billion people in 100 countries now risk contracting the disease, the WHO says — the threat from such diseases is especially grave for South East Asia. … Which is why stepping up R&D on finding cures and vaccines — for example, for dengue which has no cure or vaccine — becomes all the more important. … This is where countries like India, which stand to lose the most if vector-borne diseases assume the drastic proportions WHO has warned about, need to step in and ease policy to facilitate discovery of cures and vaccines” (4/5).

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