The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and other researchers, including MSF-Crash Dr. Jean Hervé Bradol, report a persistent deficiency in truly new therapeutics for neglected diseases, despite nominal progress and an acceleration in research and development (R&D) efforts.
In the 1980s, a global commitment was made to eradicate polio in the wake of the eradication of smallpox. As far as the world health community was concerned, this successful experience made it an example model on which to base future campaigns against infectious diseases.
Epidemiological studies estimate that nearly nine million people were suffering from active tuberculosis (TB) in 2010, causing upwards of one and a half million deaths. More than 90% of these deaths took place in low- or middle-income countries, thus reinforcing an old idea that TB and poverty are strongly linked.
Based on MSF's experience in responding to epidemics, Jean-Hervé Bradol describes the risks of spending precious time and energy on trying to delay the spread of the epidemic rather than on the case management of large numbers of sick people.