By Sylvia Warren and Sara Wallace
“Every single person living in extreme poverty is afflicted by at least one neglected tropical disease,” Dr. Peter Hotez of the Sabin Vaccine Institute explained in a recent D. Talk at Dalberg’s DC office.
Though neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) receive less funding and publicity than the “big three” (HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis), they have enormous social and economic costs. The group of tropical infections categorized as NTDs cause chronic disability for millions of low-income people around the world.
Vaccines can help lower the prevalence of NTDs and have been shown to prevent not just poverty but also conflict. But for NTDs and other diseases, the path from vaccine idea to delivery is not easy. According to Dr. Hotez, vaccines are “among the most cost-effective and powerful life-saving technologies.” But, he says, they “are also probably the slowest.”
We sat down with Dr. Hotez to detail the key challenges in vaccine development, misperceptions about NTDs, and what the process to deploy an Ebola vaccine might look like. Watch the full interview above.