Confronting climate-sensitive diseases and reducing our carbon footprint
There can be no reckoning with the current and future treatment needs of the world’s most vulnerable populations if we do not respond to the evolving impact of climate change on disease transmission and prevalence, reduce the carbon footprint of our operations, and work with our partners to reduce the environmental impact of developing and manufacturing medicines. In 2021, DNDi developed a four-pronged roadmap on health, climate, and the environment in response to these cross-cutting priorities, which we commit to address in our 2021-2028 Strategic Plan.
Develop treatments for climate-sensitive diseases
Populations around the world are facing changing and growing burdens of neglected and infectious diseases linked to climate change. Innovating for new tools to prevent and treat climate-sensitive diseases must be considered a necessary part of supporting communities impacted by neglected tropical diseases in their efforts to adapt to changing climates. DNDi stands committed with a robust R&D portfolio focused on climate-sensitive vector borne diseases, including leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness, and Chagas disease.
In late 2021, DNDi added dengue, a highly climate-sensitive disease for which there is no specific treatment available. The range and impact of dengue are growing, with an 85% increase in cases in the last 30 years.
Increase sustainable R&D and manufacturing
DNDi has begun working with partners to design and develop more sustainable manufacturing processes that lower waste and the use or generation of hazardous substances, reducing the negative impact of drug discovery, development, and production on human health and the environment.
Advocate for innovation for neglected patients in the climate change response
The global biomedical innovation ecosystem fails to invest in the development of essential medical tools for diseases that primarily affect poor and marginalized people living in low- and middle-income countries. The same communities are also disproportionately impacted by climate change. DNDi will call for investments and policies for climate adaptation that are inclusive of measures to ensure effective innovation for people affected or threatened by climate-sensitive vector borne diseases, wherever they are.
Reduce our carbon emissions and environmental footprint
DNDi is committed to halving our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. In 2021, we joined the 2050Today climate action initiative for international organizations based in Geneva, which is supporting DNDi to produce a baseline measurement of our carbon footprint at headquarters, including emissions from heating, cooling, and lighting, waste management, employee commuting and work-related travel, and other direct and indirect sources. The next steps will be to develop a sustainable environmental framework and plans for all offices, and to forge new collaborations to strengthen collective impact.
Photo credit: Vinicius Berger-DNDi
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