Peter Hotez, an expert in tropical diseases, recently advocated that the next presidential administration, to be elected in 2016, may be able to better control and contain diseases associated with poverty. The affirmation was made in a recent policy paper written by Hotez, who serves as a fellow in disease and poverty at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.
Hotez reinforced the importance of the US heading the list of countries to fight these diseases in the face of policy makers who are concerned about fiscal constraints in the paper entitled Blue Marble Health: Recommendations for Responding to Global Poverty-Related Disease,” which is available online, according to a press release from the University.
In order to accomplish this goal, Hotez offered five recommendations directed to the future U.S. president, which start with the development of pilot programs able to connect neglected tropical disease control and HIV/AIDS and malaria control initiatives. In addition, the physician recommends the use of 2% of the annual global health budget from the country to strengthen a pipeline of antipoverty products.
The third recommendation is for the president to pressure the countries in the G-20 to embrace more responsibility in the decrease of their indigenous disease burdens, not only in their countries but also in neighboring ones. Hotel also called for the establishment of an excellence center in the U.S. dedicated to neglected tropical diseases and poverty-related infections indigenous.
Finally, Hotez outlined the construction of production capacities to develop new vaccines and drugs in the regions of Middle East and North Africa using a program of science and vaccine diplomacy. Hotez also highlighted that the US has already done a lot for the global health policy, and noted the improvements related to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, and in particular goal No. 6, “to combat AIDS, malaria and other diseases.”
“Moving forward, the current administration of President Barack Obama and future presidential administrations have unprecedented opportunities to build on this momentum and track record in order to eliminate some of the most important poverty-related diseases worldwide,” he added.
Hotez is not only an expert in Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), but his work as dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine has greatly contributed to improving the conditions of populations who suffer with the burden of these diseases. NTDs are characterized for thriving mostly among the poorest populations, as well as generate more poverty by disabling its sufferers.
In addition, Hotez had also been nominated is one of the U.S. Science Envoys by the U.S. Department of State, a new role that started this month as part of a program that was launched in 2009 by President Barack Obama. The main purpose is to promote the country’s commitment to science, technology, and innovation in order to use them for both diplomacy and economic growth.
He had also been selected by Governor Perry for the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response, a group of internationally acclaimed experts in the fields of epidemiology and infectious diseases with the purpose of aggressively preparing for and addressing threats of pandemic diseases, including Ebola, for the state of Texas.