Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Imagining a National School of Tropical Medicine and Neglected Infections of Poverty for North America

Thanks to the Gates Foundation and others there has been a surge of interest in global health issues like malaria as well as what have come to be known as neglected tropical diseases. These include parasitic infections like schistosomiasis or leishmaniasis. Peter Hotez, who is president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and editor-in-chief of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, has been making the case that while we may not have neglected tropical diseases here in North America, we do have neglected infections of poverty that disproportionately impact African American and Hispanic minority populations.


A few days ago ,using the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicines as models, Hotez published an editorial (http://www.plosntds.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pntd.0000735) calling for a National School of Tropical Medicine and Neglected Infections of Poverty in North America.

Based on the conviction that training is not keeping up with advances in technology, Hotez makes the case for a new national school to train the next generation of global public health experts. It is an innovative and inspiring idea, characteristic of the ingenuity of Hotez who I write about in my new book The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men (to be published in November by PublicAffairs)

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