Neglected tropical diseases and environment, climate change and ecology

Published on October 31, 2021   30 min

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Hello everybody, my name is Jürg Utzinger. I'm the director of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health institute, an associate institute of the University of Basel, and I will talk to you about neglected tropical diseases, the environment, climate change, and ecology.
In my talk, I would like to cover five issues. First, briefly introduce you to the neglected tropical diseases: take you back to around the turn of the new millennium; discuss how a new brand name, 'neglected tropical disease', has been created. I will then focus on one of the neglected tropical diseases, namely schistosomiasis. We'll talk about impact of environmental changes, impact of climate changes on schistosomiasis, and end with a couple of conclusions.
Let me take you back to the turn of the new millennium, this was the era when the eight Millennium Development Goals were launched: eight goals launched in 2000, running up to 2015. Three of these eight goals were health-related, most importantly, for our context, MDG6: to combat HIV aids, malaria and other diseases. The diseases I will focus on are within 'other diseases'. Nevertheless, interestingly, there was also the establishment of The Global Fund. You see it says "the global fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria", 'other diseases' are not part of that, and this was a challenge. There was not equal money for neglected tropical diseases as for AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, when it comes to research, and most importantly, when it comes to control. Yet there were some public-private partnerships established, for the context of my presentation, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative was most important. This was a platform, a new consortium, that allowed discovery and development of novel drugs against some of these neglected tropical diseases.

Neglected tropical diseases and environment, climate change and ecology

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