[30 April 2015]
An estimated 3.3 million children under 15 years of age were living with HIV worldwide in 2012. During that one year alone, some 260,000 children were infected with HIV (over 90% of these were in sub-Saharan Africa). A further 210,000 died of the disease, the vast majority before reaching the age of two and without having been diagnosed. Most of these deaths could have been avoided had diagnosis been carried out in the first weeks of infection and treatment immediately commenced. While the absolute number of infants newly infected with HIV is now declining due to international efforts made in prevention of mother to child transmission, the need for paediatric treatment will continue to increase at least until 2020.
Rafael Vilasanjuan, ISGlobal and Eric Stobbaerts, DNDi Latin America – members of the Global Chagas Disease Coalition
During the month that celebrates International Chagas Disease day, Colombia, via its Ministry of Health has confirmed its commitment to the disease, a reason for optimism for the entire region. Aware of the difficulty of access to diagnosis and treatment (less than 1,000 patients treated), an action plan has been proposed to tackle Chagas Disease under the leadership of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection. A model project supported by DNDi and capable of being implemented in other locations arose as an example and brings hope not only to the 437 thousand infected persons and roughly 4.8 million people at risk of being infected in the country, but also for other affected countries.
Switzerland has contributed greatly to successful malaria control. Despite successes in reducing the number of deaths caused by malaria, it is vital that we continue fighting this deadly disease. The new website of the Swiss Malaria Group shows Swiss engagement.
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative congratulates the team of researchers at the University of Bonn-Hospital for the Memento Research Award 2015. The research group of Prof. Achim Hörauf from the University of Bonn has received this prize awarded by a group of NGOs for their research into the development of a therapy for the neglected disease `lymphatic filariasis`.
Bernard Pécoul, Executive Director, DNDi
While the epidemic peak of the Ebola crisis slightly begins to wane and with it potential avenues for treatment beginning to emerge, the global health community simply cannot go back to business as usual. A strong public opinion has been mobilized and with Ebola now a household term, there is simply no turning back. A hard stance is being taken on many fronts, including policy makers, scientists, pharmaceutical companies, philanthropists, civil society members, global health experts, and journalists to ensure that beyond this one crisis, the lessons learned from several hitherto seemingly unrelated public health issues be brought together and examined with the same scrutiny. But we cannot stop there; a comprehensive and lasting solution could be at our doorsteps but requires a serious look at what is not working currently, and what is!
About a year ago, Serafín Moreno – a 40-year old miner born and raised in Chocó, in the Colombian Pacific Coast – believed he was about to die. The first lesion appeared on his forehead, and the second on his arm. After a month, the lesions had grown and multiplied, taking over his entire body.
The Consortium for the Control and Elimination of Visceral Leishmaniasis, known as KalaCORE, is a new partnership between the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Médecins Sans Frontières and Mott MacDonald. The consortium has been appointed by the Department for International Development (DFID) to tackle Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) in South Asia and East Africa.
Dr Bernhards Ogutu, KEMRI, Kenya and Dr Sodiomon Sirima, CNRFP, Burkina Faso
Today, we have results of a large clinical trial conducted in three countries across both East and West Africa by DNDi in partnership with the Central National de Recherche et de Formation sur le Paludisme (CNRFP) in Burkina Faso, the Kenya Medical Research Centre (KEMRI) in Kenya, the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), and the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania. ASMQ (artesunate-mefloquine) fixed dose combination (FDC) has proven safe and efficacious in treating children with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in Africa, and is non-inferior to artemether-lumefantrine (AL).
Dr Graeme Bilbe, Research & Development Director, DNDi
DNDi and other not-for-profit drug research and development (R&D) organizations have explored new R&D pathways to develop and deliver safe, adapted, and affordable treatments for neglected diseases. Most of these new pathways have shown signs of success, while several have faced challenges that span across the drug discovery and development processes.
Leishmaniasis is transmitted by the bite of a sand fly. It is a complex disease with over a million new cases occurring every year and 350 million people living at risk worldwide in 98 countries. The disease presents several different forms, the most common of which are visceral leishmaniasis (VL), which is fatal without treatment, and cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL).
Chagas disease is transmitted by the ‘kissing bug’ and also by blood transfusion, organ transplantation and congenital transmission. The disease is endemic in 21 countries in Latin America, where 100 million people are at risk.
Filarial diseases include onchocerciasis (also known as River Blindness), lymphatic filariasis (also known as elephantiasis), and loiasis. They are caused by parasitic worms which are transmitted by insect vectors to humans, mainly in Africa and Southeast Asia. About 168 million people are infected by the three diseases.
Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as ‘sleeping sickness’, is transmitted by the tsetse fly. While currently its prevalence is declining, HAT is still a threat to millions of people across Sub-Saharan Africa with 83% (2013) of all cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes. It kills one child every 30 seconds in sub-Saharan Africa and is the leading parasitic cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. 3.2 billion people are at risk. DNDi with its partners have delivered two fixed-dose combination (FDC) of the five artemisinin-based drugs (ACTs), FDC’s that were recommended by WHO for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria.
HIV is transmitted to children during pregnancy, delivery and through breastfeeding. An estimated 3.3 million children below the age of 15 were living with HIV in 2012, more than 90% of whom were in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The GHIT Fund announced in June 2014 a funding award opportunity for the development of new medicines, vaccines, or diagnostics for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that are prevalent in the developing world.
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) sends its sincerest condolences to the families, friends, and loved ones of those on board Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
Dr. Wilfried Mutombo, Coordinating investigator, Fexinidazole study for HAT
At the time DNDi and its partners are extending the clinical trial on fexinidazole, the first new oral treatment tested for sleeping sickness, to the early stages of the disease in adults and to children between 6 and 14 years of age, it is important to remember how clinical trials in remote areas of a country such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) can be a daunting challenge, but can also bring lasting benefits to local communities and researchers, and to the health system overall.
Filaria is a group of neglected tropical diseases infecting over 150 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The two main filarial diseases, onchocerciasis (river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), devastate the lives of patients, causing debilitating symptoms and social discrimination. In March 2014, DNDi traveled to rural Ghana to meet and interview patients with filaria and the physician-researchers treating them.
New York – June 14, 2014 – The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) wishes to extend its deepest condolences to the Rockefeller Family for the tragic loss of Dr. Richard Rockefeller, who was killed in a plane crash the morning of June 13.