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date: 09 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a diverse group of diseases that are prevalent among the poorest populations of the world. They pose a formidable obstacle to the socioeconomic development of the already impoverished communities where they are prevalent. Over the past several decades the World Health Organization (WHO)—as the directing and coordinating authority on international health work—has led global efforts to tackle the mortality and morbidity burdens of NTDs. In partnership with other actors, WHO’s global NTD Plan and Roadmap have oscillated between the politics and financial constraints of the organisation as an intergovernmental organisation of sovereign states and the lack of incentives to catalyse private and corporate actors towards effective action. The global politics of NTDs is now firmly anchored on public-private partnerships. These partnerships nonetheless raise questions about the moral obligation towards underwriting the cost of eradicating these diseases in the developing world. The chapter argues that enlightened self-interest and humanitarianism should compel the industrialised world towards a pragmatic action to address the mortality and morbidity burdens of NTDs among the poorest populations of the world.

Keywords: neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), governance, sustainable development goals (SDGs), World Health Organization (WHO), civil society, private sector, Westphalian principles, patents, Commission on Macroeconomics and Health

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