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154 12 A Framework for Science and Vaccine Diplomacy Central to the blue marble health concept is that each of the G20 nations and Nigeria need to take greater responsibility for their own neglected diseases and neglected populations. Doing so could result in the control or elimination of one-­ half or more of the planet’s NTDs, with substantial gains made against HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria. Thus, while programs of overseas development assistance devoted to health, such as PEPFAR, GFATM, PMI, and USAID’s NTD Program, in which the world’s richest countries provide support to the poorest nations for their neglected diseases, must continue and should even expand, we need increasingly to recognize the hidden burden of neglected diseases among the poor living in wealthy countries. As a first step, we must expand initiatives that raise awareness about the problem of NTDs within each of the G20 countries and Nigeria. The Global Network for NTDs linked to the Sabin Vaccine Institute has been working closely with the governments of India and Nigeria, respectively, in order to explain the opportunity for mass drug administration and its potential impact on health and economic development. MDA coverage rates are disappointingly low in these nations, especially for intestinal helminth infections and LF, as well as for schistosomiasis in the case of Nigeria. An extraordinary finding is that at least three nations with positive worm indices—India, Pakistan, and China—also maintain nuclear stockpiles [1]. Could the scientific horsepower of these nuclear states be partly redirected toward reducing endemic NTDs at home? Hotez.indb 154 6/22/16 11:03 AM A Framework for Science and Vaccine Diplomacy 155 Outside of India and Nigeria, there is a need to promote NTD awareness in each of the G20 countries. For example, in the United States, our National School of Tropical Medicine has been highlighting the plight of some 12 million Americans living with NTDs. We have now worked with the Texas Legislature to enact a bill for NTD surveillance in suspected high-­prevalence areas. However, similar initiatives need to be enacted across the G20 nations , including the European Union. In addition, international cooperation between the different G20 nations and Nigeria could be critical in achieving higher population coverage for MDA. For instance, China, despite its billions of dollars of business investments in sub-­ Saharan Africa, has not yet promoted NTD control efforts there. Yet China has tremendous expertise in MDA for NTDs and could provide Africa with valuable advice in this area. China was the first country to eliminate LF and has achieved successes in reducing its burden of schistosomiasis more than 10-­ fold since the 1949 revolution. China could also share its best practices with neighboring India, where NTDs remain practically ubiquitous [2]. Similarly, Japan and South Korea have made great gains toward eliminating intestinal helminth infections, while the former has also successfully eliminated LF and schistosomiasis. International cooperation between these three East Asian nations and Nigeria , or with the G20 countries with positive worm indices, especially India, Indonesia, and Brazil (where they are the highest), could result in important, positive health and economic gains. Each of these activities represents examples of what some refer to as global health diplomacy. Global Health Diplomacy My former colleague at Yale University, Ilona Kickbusch, currently the director of the Global Health Programme at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, has provided several working definitions of global health diplomacy, including efforts to “position health in foreign policy negotiations,” together with the establishment of global health governance initiatives [3]. Indeed, the creation of the GAVI Alliance, GFATM, UNAIDS, and other Geneva-­ based organizations might Global health diplomacy initiatives between the G20 countries and Nigeria will be critical for achieving success in MDA programs and population coverage. Hotez.indb 155 6/22/16 11:03 AM 156 Blue Marble Health be considered vital examples of organizations created under the auspices of global health diplomacy, with the first two created following the 2000 Millennial Development Goals. The MDGs themselves represent an important framework for global health diplomacy, and arguably the most successful. Since 2005, several global health diplomacy initiatives have been enacted that could facilitate NTD activities among the G20 and Nigeria, although most of these actions are more focused on emerging viral infections of pandemic potential rather than the widespread chronic and debilitating NTDs. The International Health Regulations (IHR) were enacted in 2005 as a binding legal mechanism for all member states of WHO and...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781421420479
MARC Record
OCLC
956541522
Pages
224
Launched on MUSE
2016-08-15
Language
English
Open Access
No
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