According to PAHO/WHO neglected or ‘forgotten’ infectious diseases are often parasitic diseases which primarily affect the most vulnerable communities. These illnesses often impact on those living in extreme poverty who have terrible access to health services, particularly those in very rural areas or shantytowns. These factors of being poor and being marginalised exacerbate the consequences of the disease compared with if the affected people lived in different conditions with better healthcare options.
The diseases most often categorised as neglected include, Chagas Disease, Malaria, Fasciolasis, Onchocerciasis, Leishmaniasis, Schistosomiasis, Leprosy, Soil Transmitted Helminthiasis, Lymphatic Filariasis and Trachoma.
One of the best ways to stem the flow of these disease will be to find vaccines for the prevention and treatment of each one, which will require collaboration and a multi-pronged approach. At World Vaccine Congress, Dr Lance Gordon from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be talking about the recent progress made in this area.
Dr Gordon will focus on clinical development in dengue, schistosomiasis, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis and the partnerships and collaborations that have been formed to combat the challenges of working on neglected diseases.
One of the key questions that will be addressed in this session on day one of the congress, is how to make vaccines for these disease areas commercially viable. It could be said that vaccine manufacturers have shied away from these kinds of diseases specifically because pricing is so sensitive, and only by guaranteeing they can claw back on the costs of producing new vaccines, will it be possible to take the leap into this area of R&D.
Ensure you are part of the discussion at the World Vaccine Congress on April 7-9 in Washington. For more information, download the brochure.