Today in London, Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, CEOs of nine leading pharmaceutical companies, Bill Gates and many more are meeting to discuss how to combat neglected tropical diseases and work towards elimination by 2020.
Follow the action here from 11am, and on twitter, @sev1en.
Today marks the 59th anniversary of a day dedicated to raising leprosy awareness and funds to help give those affected the treatment they need. Over 100 countries worldwide use this day to reaffirm their concern for those affected and recommit themselves to doing something to make a difference. Some churches offer a special service to mark the occasion.
World leprosy day is celebrated on the last Sunday in January, near to the anniversary of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, a man who was renowned for showing great concern for those affected by leprosy.
That’s what sufferers of lymphatic filariasis go through every day.
A recent review looked at all of the research into the experiences of people living with lymphatic filariasis (LF), or elephantiasis, and analysed the complexities of daily life faced by people living with LF-related disability.
LF is caused by infectious nematode-carrying mosquitoes biting a person, depositing parasites on the skin which get inside the body, grow and spread into part of the immune system called lymph tissue.
WHO defines disability in general as “a complex phenomenon, reflecting an interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives”, as it is a result of the disease and impairment themselves, but also disruptions caused to lifestyle and standard of living.
120 million people worldwide live with the burden of LF, 40 million of whom live with chronic disabling effects as a result of this parasitic disease, according to WHO.
WHO regards LF as the leading cause of physical disability in the world.
Researchers reporting in the journal PLOS Neglected Diseases reviewed qualitative data from the sufferers themselves and this is what they found.
A new route to our blog through SCI (the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative)
SCI has been rated as one of the top two charities for achieving impact with donations by nonprofit organisation GiveWell and Giving What We Can. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded SCI $1.5 million to improve control of schistosomiasis. A fantastic, cost-effective charity that’s worth a look.
We have interviews with Professor Alan Fenwick, Director of SCI, and Professor David Molyneux, adviser to WHO, who have both been working on NTDs for over 25 years coming up in the next few weeks. A brilliant insight into how the world of NTDs has evolved.
Next week we’ll be blogging and tweeting from the Royal College of Physicians for the WHO event: Uniting to combat neglected tropical diseases where Bill Gates, Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, Dr. Caroline Anstey, Managing Director of the World Bank and CEOs of nine leading pharmaceutical companies to name a few!
A man has caught rabies from a bat in Massachusetts, and is now critically ill. It is the first time someone is known to have caught rabies in the state for 75 years. Continue reading