10 Neglected Tropical Diseases – Target For End Of Decade

The aim is to eliminate or at least control 10 neglected tropical diseases by 2020 - it is a public and private partnership, including 13 drug companies, the UK, US and United Arab Emirate Governments, the World Bank, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and some other worldwide organizations. The partners aim to work together to eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in countries where they are endemic. They have pledged to liaise closely with affected countries. According to WHO (World Health Organization), 1.4 billion people are affected by the ten NTDs; the majority of them live in the poorest countries in the world. In an official announcement made today at the Royal College of Physicians, London, the partners said they would combat NTDs by: Expanding or at least sustaining drug donation programs so that demand is met right through to the end of 2020. Share knowhow and new active ingredients to speed up R&D of new medications. The allocation of over $785 million to improve R&D efforts and support drug distribution and implementation programs. The endorsement of the "London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases". The Declaration promises a new level of commitment and collaboration in the tracking of progress. Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said: "Today, we have joined together to increase the impact of our investments and build on the tremendous progress made to date. This innovative approach must serve as a model for solving other global development challenges and will help millions of people build self-sufficiency and overcome the need for aid." The Gates Foundation says it is donating $363 million over...

Fake Antimalarial Medications Undermine Africa Malaria Drive

Fraudulent and substandard antimalarial drugs could be wrecking the chances of winning the war against malaria in Africa, researchers from the Wellcome Trust-Mahosot Hospital-Oxford University Tropical Medicine Research Collaboration reported in the Malaria Journal. The authors add that millions of lives could be lost over the next twelve months unless urgent action is taken both within the African continent and elsewhere in the world. Fake medications are coming onto the scene as a result of deliberate criminal activity, while substandard drugs are becoming more common because of poor manufacturing practice. Not only are scores of patients being inadequately treated, but the presence of these undesirable and illegal medications significantly raises the risk of drug resistance among the malaria parasites. Approximately 781,000 people are thought to have died from malaria in 2009, says the World Malaria Report 2010. Artemisinin derivatives are the best antimalarials, experts say. They work faster than other medications, such as chloroquine and mefloquine, and also have fewer side-effects. These drugs can be used on their own to treat malaria, but are more commonly administered alongside other medications, mainly because of the rising problem of drug resistance. WHO (World Health Organization) recommends that for uncomplicated falciparum malaria, combination therapies be used. The researchers set out to determine how prevalent counterfeit and substandard antimalarials were in Africa. They gathered data from 11 nations in Africa between 2002 and 2010. They found that some fake drugs contained a combination of erroneous active ingredients, many of which only treated malaria signs and symptoms, but did not cure the disease itself. These unsuitable active ingredients were also found to cause potentially serious side-effects, especially when...
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