Violent Conflict Impacts Health, Poverty, Could Undermine NTD Control Efforts

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: Could violent conflict derail the London Declaration on NTDs?
Rebecca Y. Du of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development; Jeffrey D. Stanaway of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington; and Peter J. Hotez of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development

“The concept of the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) is built around low socioeconomic status (SES) and poverty as the most important social determinants. … A combination of insufficient social programs, unfair economic arrangements, and corrupt politics creates conditions that allow poverty to obstruct health. Within this paradigm is the impact of violent conflict. Conflict not only facilitates the relationship between poverty and poor health, but it also is a social determinant of health in its own right. In other words, violent conflict enables poor health outcomes independent of poverty. … Given the potential for conflict to slow or halt the WHO and London Declaration targets for NTDs, it is worth exploring a high-level summit around this topic. Given the multisectoral impact of conflict on NTDs, such an initiative would go beyond the health sector exclusively and should require peace-building and global health efforts across multiple U.N. agencies…” (4/19).