Archive for January, 2010

Global Network Featured On Perez as a Worthwhile Cause!

January 29th, 2010




We woke up to some exciting news this morning!

The Global Network was promoted today by famous celebrity blogger Perez Hilton as a worthwhile cause.  As one of the most visited sites on the web, Hilton’s endorsement exposes us to his audience of about 3 million viewers per day, bringing further exposure and raising awareness to NTDs!

We are thrilled! We hope that Hilton will continue to promote causes that need more attention and that he will continue to be involved in global health issues in general.

President Obama Pledges Support for Global Health in State of the Union

January 28th, 2010

The eyes of the world settled on Washington D.C. yesterday as President Barack Obama delivered his first State of the Union speech. While the emphasis of the speech was the American economy and domestic issues, President Obama also briefly reiterated America’s commitment to public health abroad. That reiteration took the form of a few brief sentences towards the end of the speech. President Obama stated “Were helping developing countries to feed themselves, and continuing the fight against HIV/AIDS. And we are launching a new initiative that will give us the capacity to respond faster and more effectively to bioterrorism or an infectious disease – a plan that will counter threats at home and strengthen public health abroad.”

Following the Obama Administration’s announcement of a top-line freeze on discretionary spending, many began to wonder what impact this would have on global health and development. However, it seems as though public health remains an international priority for this administration.

A continued commitment to global health is important, as one of the key elements the speech hit on was the security of the United States. The fact is that public health, and treating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in particular is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to reduce global instability and improve the security of the United States. NTDs affect populations in nations which are not only poor, but frequently breeding grounds for radicalization and terrorism. According to a 2009 study by Dr. Peter Hotez, nations which are part of the Organization of Islamic Countries account for about half of the world’s schistosome infections, between 200 and 300 million cases of intestinal helminth infections, and a high rate of blinding trachoma. The links between global stability and treating NTDs is obvious when one considers the significant negative impact NTDs have socially, politically, and economically, and the established link between those social cleavages and extremism. Then consider that the top seven NTDs can be treated for a year for only $0.50 per person, and the value of NTD treatment becomes readily apparent.

One of the biggest applauses President Obama got yesterday was when he said “America must always stand on the side of freedom and human dignity. Always.”  If this administration keeps global health on their agenda, than they have taken a huge step to affirm that.

Interview with Dr. Peter Hotez on the Leonard Lopate Show!

January 28th, 2010

Listen to Dr. Hotezs interview on WNYC radios Leonard Lopate show to discuss hookworm, national security, and why investing in NTDs is a best buy in public health!

Parasites Paradise: Campus Challenge Participants Channel Rapper Coolio to Promote Their Campaign for NTDs!

January 28th, 2010

Our Campus Challenge is still in full swing until April 2nd, and a group of masters students studying Health Policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine  have created an amazing rap to raise funds for their team!

Dont we all love a good Coolio throwback now and then?

See it here!

We love this kind of creativity and ingenuity, and this team has definitely laid down the gauntlet!

Please also visit their Facebook page to read about their goal to run the Paris Half Marathon in March to raise money for NTDs!

Vote for the Global Network to make NTDs the Focus of Kiwanis Internationals Worldwide Service Project!

January 27th, 2010

We announced in an earlier post that Kiwanis International is currently searching for the next World Service Project, and that the Global Network is one of the top three finalists.

Kiwanis has set up a website where people can go and view all of the finalists, watch videos, and join the discussion on what the next worldwide service project should be.

If the Global Netowork is chosen, the impact that  a project of this scale and magnitude could have on controlling and eliminating NTDs worldwide is HUGE. 

The Global Network’s proposal  is to ensure that the more than 1 billion children born between 2003 and 2020 journey into adulthood as the first generation to grow and thrive without the burden of NTDs.

Please vote for the Global Network on the poll listed on the website!   

To read the  full press release please click here

Reading List 1/27/2010

January 27th, 2010
  1. State of the Union speech preparations under way,
  2. Will endemic corruption suck away aid to Haiti?, Reuters
  3. How to feed people and save the planet, Sarah Murray, Financial Times
  4. Gates Foundation says to raise Malawi health aid, Reuters

Bill Gates Posts Second Annual Letter

January 26th, 2010
Photo Courtesy of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, published his second annual letter on the foundation website yesterday recounting his experiences and reflections from his first year of working full-time on Foundation business.  The letter highlighted the foundation’s achievements in 2009 and its goals for the new year. 

In his letter, Gates reminds us all that, while significant gains have been made in recent years in global health, 2009 was a particularly difficult year due to the tough economic climate and the world’s poorest people were impacted disproportionately by the downturn. The economic downturn has and will continue to exacerbate existing health problems, including the control of neglected tropical diseases.   Although the economy is still weak, Gates is “very optimistic about the progress we can make in the years ahead.”  Throughout the letter, Gates cites innovation as an important step in improving global health noting that “a combination of scientific innovations and great leaders who are working on behalf of the world’s poorest people will continue to improve the human condition.” 

Innovation, he stressed, is underinvested by donors, especially with regards to innovations that benefit the world’s poor.  The disenfranchised often do not garner high levels of investment because of their inability to generate market demand.  Gates writes that “if we project what the world will be like 10 years from now without innovation in health, education, energy, or food, the picture is quite bleak.”  He envisions the role of the Gates Foundation to be a place where higher risk innovations can be explored and invested in projects and programs that otherwise may not receive adequate funding and attention.  Overall, the Foundation backs over thirty innovations ranging from online learning techniques to vaccine and seed development.   Such investments have yielded tremendous results including a decrease in childhood deaths; improvements in vaccine efficacy and coverage; increased usage of insecticide treated bed nets to combat malaria; decreased transmission rates of HIV; increased availability of antiretroviral therapy; improvements in U.S. public education and increased agricultural productivity. 

For all of the successes that have been achieved, Gates acknowledges “there is significant risk that aid budgets will either be cut or not increase much” due to the current global financial situation.  A continued commitment to global health will be necessary to ensure health as a human right and improve quality of life for the world’s poor. 

In addition to the publication of annual letters, joining twitter and the creation of a new website  will allow Gates to share his thoughts on the Foundation activities and personal reflections from his trips and other areas of interests.  

Looking forward, 2010 should be an interesting year in global health.  The Sabin Vaccine Institute is excited to be working with the Gates Foundation towards similar innovations that will help to eliminate neglected tropical diseases and their burden on the disenfranchised.

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  • About
    • The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases is a major advocacy and resource mobilization initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute dedicated to raising the awareness, political will, and funding necessary to control and eliminate the most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)--a group of disabling, disfiguring, and deadly diseases affecting more than 1.4 billion people worldwide living on less than $1.25 a day.
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