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Fight against tropical diseases

11th October 2006

The World Health Organization (WHO), in conjunction with pharmaceutical giant sanofi-aventis, will expand its program to fight some of the most neglected tropical diseases that destroy the lives and health of poor people. sanofi-aventis, formerly known as Aventis, has agreed to donate medicines and financial support worth U.S.$25 million over five years to WHO.

This collaboration builds on a previous agreement between WHO and Aventis to prevent deaths due to sleeping sickness. Since 2001, this work has saved the lives of an estimated 110,000 people who would otherwise have died from sleeping sickness, a disease spread by the bite of the tsetse fly which is fatal if not treated.

Under the new agreement, sanofi-aventis will donate U.S.$5 million worth of drugs to treat sleeping sickness and a further U.S.$20 million in financial support for the control of neglected tropical diseases.

As well as sleeping sickness (also known as human African trypanosomiasis), the new project will also address leishmaniasis, Buruli ulcer and Chagas disease. All four diseases are among the most neglected in the world. The people who suffer from them are almost all poor inhabitants of remote, rural areas.

The new project will take a common approach to detecting, preventing and treating these four diseases. The key to all four is to actively seek out people who show early symptoms of the diseases. By identifying them early, people can be given effective treatment before the symptoms worsen.

 

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Article Information

Title: Fight against tropical diseases
Author: Sue Knights
Article Id: 879
Date Added: 11th Oct 2006

Sources

World Health Organisation

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