Poor Communities, Not Just Poor Countries, Affected By NTDs

In this Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases “End the Neglect” blog post, Alanna Shaikh, an expert in health consulting and writer for U.N. Dispatch, examines the burden of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in the developed world, highlighting findings from an article published in PLoS in July looking at Europe’s NTD burden. She says the world is “moving away from rich and poor countries” and instead toward “rich and poor communities. And the poor communities of Europe, just like the poor communities of Africa — or the United States — are afflicted with neglected tropical diseases.” She writes, “Globalization has made sure that we all share all our infectious diseases with each other and borders are meaningless in that context,” concluding “most importantly — we can’t afford to ignore the poor. Because social justice is a moral imperative, and because sooner or later their suffering becomes our own” (11/14).

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