Thirteen members of Congress are formally urging US AID to expand R&D funding for treatments for four deadly tropical diseases that impact millions of people in developing countries, yet are largely left out of the Obama Administration’s new Global Health Initiative. The impassioned request was made in a letter sent to Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the US Agency for International Development, and is fully in step with the goals of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative.
Congress members who signed the letter are:
Donald Payne (NJ) and John Boozman (AR), co-chairmen of the Congressional Malaria & NTD Caucus; Henry Waxman (CA); Eni Faleomavaega (American Samoa); Lynn Woolsey (CA); Bobby Rush (IL); Donna Christensen (Virgin Islands); Barbara Lee (CA); Gregory Meeks (NY); Diane Watson (CA); Gwen Moore (WI); Emanuel Cleaver (MO); and, Hank Johnson (GA).
The Congress members wrote: “Current U.S. government initiatives focus on a group of seven NTDs that have inexpensive, safe, and effective treatments readily available, but the group does not include the eight other WHO recognized NTDs. Leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness, Chagas disease and Buruli ulcer are largely left out of control and treatment programs. However, most of these diseases can be fatal if left untreated, and have the highest death rates of all NTDs. It is therefore critical that we develop new treatments and diagnostics now in order to save lives in the future.”
Regional Communications Manager, North America