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International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases Coinfections conference reports

The International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases – a London based international initiative – held the third in a series of conferences aiming at investigating the grand themes of NTD research and using the momentum generated to drive multi-disciplinary approaches within NTD research and development at the Wellcome Trust in London on the 12th Feb. These conferences have earned critical acclaim and are highly regarded by all the participants and attendees – a great advertisement for British achievements and healthcare diplomacy as well as creation of British jobs in overseas markets

1.4 billion people are affected by 17 diseases termed the Neglected Tropical Diseases by the WHO – with R&D skewed towards economically viable or market driven diseases such as obesity, erectile dysfunction and other lifestyle diseases these NTDs have largely become entrenched as diseases of poverty with profound implications to social development and global prosperity.

A more frightening development is the emergence of some of these diseases into mainland Europe – The recent Dengue fever outbreak in Madeira Portugal is just one notable example

The ISNTD is aiming to bring together the various governmental, academic, industry and NGO’s involved in the push towards completion of the Millennium Development Goals ie elimination of these diseases.

ISNTD Coinfections took place to address to the reality of disease burden by acknowledgement of the fact that disease populations are actually co-infected masses e.g. Helminth (gut worm) infection, TB and HIV etc. – this redefinition is vital and has massive implications to healthcare systems and the evolution of funding and aid into these areas.

Only by sharing experience and pooling resources can the MDG goals of 2015 and 2020 be realized and the cycle of poverty and disease be broken resulting in sustainable healthcare provision and a better world for all of us.

The zeitgeist of where to go with corporate social responsibility , funding and research were all addressed through 4 lively debates on the day reflected in the cross section of participants and attendees – for more information please visit the ISNTD website www.isntd.org where members can easily download these audio files as well as register to attend their upcoming conferences.

Marianne Comparet Director of the ISNTD introduces each panel, broadcast on UK Health Radio – these were as follows;

Panel 1:  Infections & Coinfection: Dynamics & Healthcare Implications

Chair Pr. Russell Stothard (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine)
Dr. Mark Booth (Durham University)
Dr. Aubrey Cunnington (LSHTM)
Dr. Joanne Lello (Cardiff University)
Dr. William Wint (University of Oxford; EDENext)

Panel 2: NTDs & the ‘big 3’ : HIV, TB and Malaria

Chair Dr. Mark Booth (Durham University)
Pr. Hazel Dockrell (LSHTM)
Pr. Alan Fenwick (SCI, Imperial College London)
Mr. Emil Ivan (Rwanda Biomedical Centre)
Dr. Neil Squires (Department for International Development)
Mr. Simon Wright (Save the Children)

Panel 3: TB focus: lessons learned

Chair Dr. Bert Schreuder (KNCV TB Foundation)
Dr. Karen Manson (Janssen Pharmaceutical)
Pr. Helen McShane (University of Oxford)
Dr. Santiago Ramón-García (Univ. of British Columbia)

Panel 4:   Coinfection & healthcare systems: towards better health in resource-poor settings

Chair Mr. Andrew Jack (Financial Times)
Mr. Simon Berry (Colalife)
Pr. Ib Christian Bygbjerg (Univ. of Copenhagen)
Ms. Maya Jaffe (Crown Agents)
Dr. Louise Kelly-Hope (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine)
Dr Jutta Reinhard-Rupp (Merck-Serono)
Mr. Alastair West (United Nations Industrial Development Organization)


Don’t miss out on future International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ISNTD) events:

1. ISNTD Water, Brighton Grand Hotel, Sept 18th 2013 as part of the annual Non-Governmental Development Organisation (NGDO) Network on NTDs  (www.isntdwater.com)

2. ISNTD Bites 2013 at the Royal Geographical Society, 15th Oct 2013 (www.isntdbites2013.com) (our second annual vector control and disease surveillance event – last year’s – www.isntdbites.com)

3. ISNTD d3 (drug discovery and development for NTDs), Wellcome Trust London, May 13th h 2014 (www..isntdd3.com)

4. ISNTD Philanthropy, Foundling Museum London, Feb 3rd 2014 (www.isntdphilanthropy.com) – exploring the changing and emergent role of philanthropy, social venture, development finance within NTDs & public health