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Chapter 12 : Repairing the World
A global assault on the NTDs through both widespread deployment of rapid-impact packages and the simultaneous development and implementation of new control tools could one day become a highly productive application of medical science and public health for repairing the world. The control and elimination of the NTDs may also provide added global benefit in light of the underappreciated link between NTDs and human conflict. The examples of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis (LF), Chagas disease, and leishmaniasis illustrate an intimate link between the NTDs and long-standing conflict. The common features of this relationship include reductions in public health control programs because of violence and a shifting of limited resources in favor of military spending and buildup. A new government-academic- industrial enterprise devoted to NTDs can offer an unprecedented new opportunity for reducing global poverty and repairing the world. We have in hand today an extraordinary toolbox of highly effective preventive chemotherapeutic drugs and the technological capacity to build a new generation of drugs and vaccines. We have a win-win opportunity to control and eliminate humankind’s major NTDs and need to act in a timely manner and with great efficiency.