Integrating Neglected Tropical Diseases into AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Control
Peter J. Hotez, M.D., Ph.D., Neeraj Mistry, M.D., M.P.H., Joanna Rubinstein, D.D.S., Ph.D., Jeffrey D. Sachs, Ph.D.
N Engl J Med 364:2086-2089 | June 2, 2011
Today, approximately 1.4 billion people in the world live in extreme poverty, with incomes so low that they cannot fill their basic needs. In 2000, when eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were set to guide efforts to combat various dimensions of extreme poverty, a specific call was made in the sixth MDG “to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases.” In response, new financing and delivery mechanisms for disease control were introduced through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, as well as the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) and the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). To date, approximately $20 billion has been committed to the Global Fund, $32 billion to PEPFAR, and $1 billion to PMI. Many billions of additional dollars are promised through 2014. This level of support for antiretroviral drugs, directly observed therapy for tuberculosis, and insecticide-treated bed nets and antimalaria drugs has made a huge difference in the lives of the world's poorest people. We now have the opportunity to further advance progress toward MDG 6 by incorporating extremely low-cost and rapid-impact packages of drugs for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) into our programs.