Governments, hear our plea!
It cannot be said often enough: Every day over 35,000 people die needlessly from neglected diseases. These diseases affect hundreds of millions, yet we lack safe, affordable, effective, field-adapted vaccines, diagnostics, and drugs to tackle them.
In the last few years, this health challenge has spurred global awareness. Not-for-profit organisations have been established to accelerate innovation for neglected diseases. The majority of these are funded by philanthropic organisations and individual donors but this response is woefully insufficient.
How long can patients rely on their generosity while wealthy and disease-endemic governments remain only marginally involved?
Governments must take the lead by
Setting up a health-needs driven R&D agenda
Defining an ambitious action plan with appropriate resources
Constructing an enabling framework for the different partners similar to the successful plans that have been put in place for cancer and HIV/AIDS in rich countries.
Responding to the needs of the most disadvantaged populations is, at the end of day, a public responsibility. Private, for-profit and non-profit entities have a lot to contribute but cannot be accountable for the lack of adequate response. While governments debate responsibility, millions continue to die.
Executive Director DNDi