Kenya, Brazil To Introduce Resolution Calling for Increased Funding For Neglected Diseases at World Health Assembly
Officials from Brazil and Kenya on Tuesday announced they plan to introduce a resolution at next week's World Health Assembly that calls on wealthy nations to increase funding to develop drugs for neglected diseases, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, AFP/Today Online reports (AFP/Today Online, 5/17). According to Davy Koech, director of the Kenya Medical Research Institute, worldwide funding for disease research and development should be shifted to neglected diseases, which also include leishmaniasis, chaga's disease, helminthic infections and sleeping sickness (Kisia, East African Standard, 5/17). "Developing countries have the capacity to provide new solutions for old diseases," Koech said, adding, "But every day we see how difficult it is to get support for research and development into diseases that affect the poor for which there is no profitable market." Although global health research spending increased to $105.9 billion in 2004 from $30 billion in 1986, only about 10% of the $105.9 billion is directed toward diseases that affect 90% of the world's population, according to the Global Forum for Health Research. At least $3 billion annually should be allocated for health issues affecting the world's poor, according to the World Health Organization. The Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative said the resolution is a significant action toward raising awareness about the issue (AFP/Today Online, 5/17).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.