Archive for September, 2010

Climate Change and the Spread of Vector-Borne Diseases

September 30th, 2010

By: John O. Davies-Cole, PhD, MPH, Professor at The George Washington University

A vector-borne disease is one in which an arthropod or other agent is responsible for transmitting a pathogen or disease-causing organism like, bacteria, virus or protozoa  from an infected individual to another individual.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the most deadly vector-borne disease, malaria, kills over 1.2 million people annually, mostly African children under the age of five, and dengue fever, together with associated dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), is the worlds fastest growing vector borne disease.  Nearly half of the worlds population suffers from vector-borne diseases, resulting in high morbidity and mortality. The most seriously affected parts of the world are the developing countries located in tropical and subtropical areas. Some examples of neglected vector-borne diseases include dengue/dengue hemorrhagic fever, human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) and onchocerciasis (river blindness).

It is projected that climate change will cause the spread of vector-borne diseases, and place additional stresses on ecosystems, thus bringing untold suffering to the rural poor, those in urban slums or in conflict zones. The most vulnerable in the population are the elderly, the young, the socially isolated, lower socioeconomic status families, those with preexisting conditions and the Immunocompromised (Having an immune system that has been impaired by disease or treatment).

Read more: Climate Change and the Spread of Vector-Borne Diseases

Reflections from the Global Maternal Health Conference 2010

September 29th, 2010

by Tim Thomas, Senior Advisor, Maternal Health Task Force

Several weeks ago, the Global Maternal Health 2010 conference was held in Delhi co-sponsored by the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth, and the Public Health Foundation of India.  Nearly 700 experts in maternal health and allied fields came together to take stock of the progress to date in eradicating preventable maternal death and disability, and to share lessons learned and program planning. 

Read more: Reflections from the Global Maternal Health Conference 2010

University of Rhode Island Seeking Applications for NTD Vaccine Workshop

September 28th, 2010

By: Eteena Tadjiogueu

If you’re a neglected tropical disease researcher who’s looking for training in immunology you’re in luck because the University of Rhode Island’s (URI) Institute of Immunology and Informatics (I’Cubed) has received $511,121 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to host a workshop and training course for six fellows interested in using new vaccine design tools to target the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

The training session will take place over three weeks in January 2011 at the URI Providence Biotechnology Center. Six fellows will be chosen based on their current involvement in research on NTDs, prior doctoral or equivalent training in immunology or a related area in the vaccine development field, and substantial commitment from the applicant’s home institution to their future research career.

In addition, to apply, you need to provide the following information:

  • A description of your work, including reasons for your interests in learning to use the TRIAD toolkit and how it would apply to your research project in the future (maximum 1 page);
  • A budget for your travel costs;
  • Your Curriculum Vitae (NIH formatted); and,
  • Two letters of reference.

Submissions must be received by September 30, 2010 and all application materials should be sent electronically to Shahla Yekta at

“We look forward to welcoming six NTD fellows from all over the world to the Providence campus in January. This grant provides us with the exciting opportunity to collaborate across disciplines and to teach the next generation of scientists to use tools that are accelerating the development of vaccines and therapeutics,” said Dr. Denice Spero, Co-Director of I’Cubed in a press release.

Reading List 9/28/2010

September 28th, 2010

A lot going on in the world of global health and NTDs today! This Tuesday afternoon were reading about the Philippine Department of Healths initiative to combat malnutrition which in turn will help control and eliminate NTDs, the Carter Centers progress on eradicating guinea worm in Sudan, a new UN report that demonstrates greater access to HIV/AIDS treatment in 37 countries, and creation of a new malaria vaccine.

DOH acts to end IDA, Suzette R. Adduru, Philippine Information Agency Carter Center close to eradicating dreaded disease, The Carter Center UN report shows access to HIV services improving in many developing countries, UN News Center Good news expected at US meet on malaria vaccine, AFP

Worm of the Week Onchocerciasis

September 27th, 2010

Another installment from our Worm of the Week series, courtesy of student campaigners from Boston University! Today we feature:

Onchocerciasis Onchocerca Volvulus


Onchocerciasis is caused by the filarial worm Onchocerca volvulus.  Transmission is via the bites of infected blackflies of Simulium species, which carry immature larval forms of the parasite from human to human. In the human body, the larvae form nodules in the subcutaneous tissue, where they mature to adult worms. After mating, a female can lay up to 1000 microfilariae/day, which move through the body, and when they die they cause a variety of conditions, including blindness, skin rashes, lesions, intense itching and skin depigmentation. A total of 18 million people are infected with the disease and have dermal microfilariae, of whom 99% are in Africa.

Read more: Worm of the Week Onchocerciasis

Reading List 9/27/10

September 27th, 2010

Brand new reading list to help kick off your week! Today were reading about guinea worm eradication efforts that inspired the film Foul Water Fiery Serpent, health care needs in Africa, and the beginning of Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)s week-long annual Directing Council meeting. Also, Good Intentions, a nonprofit that works to guide donors on making informed funding decisions, put together a comprehensive list of readings and blog posts on the Clinton Global Initiative and UN week.

Eradicating Guinea worm disease—a prelude to NTD elimination, David Molyneux, The Lancet Saving Africas dying from the brain drain , Jane Elliott, BBC News Meeting of Ministers of Health of the Americas Starts Today, Pan American Health Organization A Compilation of articles about Clinton Global Initiative and UN week, Good Intentions

Some Thoughts About Water

September 27th, 2010

By: Nate Wolf

I had a water emergency at my house this weekend, and I’ve been thinking a lot about water.

Pros and Cons of Water

Pro:  It keeps us alive.  Con:  We need it to stay alive.  Pro:  It tastes delicious when you’re thirsty.  Con:  Causes a lot of damage when it floods your basement or your house or your entire city.  Pro:  You can clean things with it.  Con:  Since we need it every day, people may have to either spend a lot of money on piping, plumbing fixtures, etc., or walk a couple of hours to the river just to carry back a few gallons.  Pro:  If you have some barley and hops (whatever hops are) you can make beer with it.  Con:  It is an important part of the life cycle of several of the world’s most devastating diseases, those diseases that disproportionately affect the world’s poorest people, such as malaria and  several of what are known as Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), including schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis, and lymphatic filariasisPro: It makes crops grow.  Con:  If crops don’t get it, they won’t grow.  Con:  Drinking bad water can cause other types of diseases, such as cholera or rotavirus (rotavirus also spreads in other ways, making it particularly dangerous).  Pro:  Water can be used to create energy.  Con:  Watering crops with infected water is one way to spread roundworm, the most common of all NTDs, affecting an estimated 800 million people around the world1.

Read more: Some Thoughts About Water

Reading List 9/20-9/24

September 24th, 2010

A lot going on in the world of global health and NTDs today! This Friday we’re reading about scientists who are trying to  develop stronger relationships with the FDA in order to gain support on NTDs, new diet pills that contain parasitic worms that really do not support weight loss, and for the first time in US history Obama signed a Directive on Global Development .

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) Calls for Stronger FDA Science Investment to Better Fight Diseases of Poverty Worldwide, Biomedicine How Far Would You Go Just to Lose Weight? Would You Eat Parasitic Worms?, Robert Rister President Obamas Global Development Policy, Office of the Press Secretary

Weekly Blog Round Up 9/20-9/24

September 24th, 2010

This week on End the Neglect

1.On Monday Anjana Padmanabhan wrote  about the DC hosted ”TedxFoggyBottom” and the discussion, The Future We Make, examining the reasons why the Millennium Development Goals are important, TedxChange:Change is Possible

2.We had multiple entries focusing on women and maternal health, Dale Hanson President of CIDRZ wrote for us, Moving Women Out of Last Place, and 2 blog entries re-posted from Women Delivers, The Clock is Ticking: Make Every Woman Count and Key Leaders at UN MDG Summit Commit to Investing in Women

3.We received wonderful blogs about the MDG summit too! Dr. Eric Legally wrote, The Millennium Development Goals: Engineering Good and Kelly Rowland is promoting MDGs this week with her video,Help Spread the Buss about the MDGs.

4.Our very own policy intern Morgan Kamanski contributed to our blog this week as well, writing about Fighting Diseases to Achieve Millennium Development Goal 6

5. Alanna Shaikh wrote about the overwhelming presence of corporations in the past week , calling it The Corporatization of Global Health

6. We have been extremely lucky to have our strategic communications and media outreach Associate, Anjana Padmanabhan, live blogging from the MDG summit in New York! Giving us an Insider Guide to UN Week She Kicked off the UN Week in t he Digital Media Lounge, wrote about Localization, Transparency, and Integration Key Themes at UN Digital Media Lounge, and about  NTDs Creeping into Conversations at the UN Week Digital Media Lounge. She also gave us a perspective on Delivering for Women and Children: Maternal/Child Health and MDGs, exposed us to Raj Shah Makes Appearance at UN Week! and she then Wrapped Up the Week for our readers!

7. We also posted some MDG related videos on our blog, Saving Lives and Achieving MDG 4 Through Soccer! and Everyone Has a Role – The Millennium Development Goals

Wrapping Up UN Week, But Not Shutting Up

September 24th, 2010

Photo Credit: Wayan Vota

Its been an interesting week here in New York during UN Week. While the pace and spread of information has been frenzied, we cant deny that the use of social media has opened up the conversation about international development, global health, and philanthropy to a much larger audience of caring, concerned citizens all across the globe.  The words social good have certainly entered into my rhetoric after this week. (follow @socialgood on Twitter).

Read more: Wrapping Up UN Week, But Not Shutting Up

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    • 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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