Recently published prevalence estimates of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in five Latin American countries — Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela — could suggest a new direction for United States foreign policy in the region, according to a tropical-disease expert at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.
Dr. Peter Hotez, the fellow in disease and poverty at the Baker Institute, outlined his insights in a new editorial, “The NTDs and Vaccine Diplomacy in Latin America: Opportunities for United States Foreign Policy,” published in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
He is available for media interviews on the topic. “NTDs are commonly found wherever poverty is pervasive and the Latin American and Caribbean region’s major NTDs — Chagas disease, cutaneous leishmaniasis, dengue, intestinal helminth infections and malaria (mostly vivax malaria) — are highly endemic in Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela, while dengue is also an important NTD in Cuba,” Hotez said.
“Approximately 14-15 percent of the cases of these NTDs occur in Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela, despite the fact that these countries only comprise about 10 percent of the region’s population.” Hotez said such high numbers of people affected by NTDs afford potential opportunities for the U.S. to work with these countries in programs of science and global health diplomacy.
“These programs might include bilateral cooperative efforts to implement disease control and elimination programs for the major NTDs, potentially relying on shared expertise between the U.S. and the disease-endemic countries,” he said. There may also be specific opportunities for “vaccine diplomacy,” a form of science diplomacy focused on “joint development of lifesaving vaccines and related technologies” conducted by scientists from “nations that often disagree ideologically” or even those “actively engaged in hostile actions,” Hotez said.
Both the U.S. and Cuba stand out for their programs of vaccine research and development, with Cuba’s Instituto Finlay, for example, belonging to the renowned Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network.
“Joint U.S.-Cuba programs in NTD vaccines, possibly including scientists from Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua or Venezuela, offer additional mechanisms on this front,” Hotez said. Hotez is dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, where he is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, head of the Section of Pediatric Tropical Medicine and the Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics.
Hotez is also president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children’s Hospital’s Center for Vaccine Development. To interview Hotez, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-348-6775. -30-
Follow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute
Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews
Hotez biography: http://bakerinstitute.org/experts/peter-j-hotez.
Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top 15 university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog.
Jeff Falk | Eurek Alert!
Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University
Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News