Bringing science and development together through news and analysis

  • Brazil well-placed to tackle neglected disease


A new public–private partnership could eliminate Brazil's "shockingly high burden" of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), says Peter J. Hotez in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Brazil has already taken leadership in eliminating its Chagas disease problem, he points out, and made great strides in controlling and eliminating lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis.  

But most of the burden of NTDs in Latin America and the Caribbean occurs in Brazil, including virtually all cases of blinding trachoma and leprosy, and the majority of ascariasis, dengue, hookworm infection, schistosomiasis and visceral leishmaniasis.

Most of the country's poorest people — numbering 40 million — are infected with one or more NTDs and in the wake of a US$500 million government 'Zero Hunger' campaign the World Food Programme found that measures to feed children often simply result in feeding hookworms first.

Hotez says NTD control would be a highly cost-effective health measure and at a 15–30 per cent rate of return, a cost-effective anti-poverty measure as well.

Everything is in place for a nationwide effort: a charismatic president committed to the poor, some of the world's best disease control experts, the ability to innovate and produce "anti-poverty" vaccines and rich individuals, Hotez concludes.

Link to full article in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.