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Neglected Tropical Diseases – how to combat and prevent them, workshop at the foreign ministry (23 November 2009)

Roma 19 November 2009

Neglected Tropical Diseases: Addressing the Problem and Identifying Opportunities: the central theme of a workshop organised by the Directorate General for Development Cooperation (DGCS) in collaboration with the National Committee for Biosecurity, Biotechnologies and Life Sciences (CNBBSV) of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, will be held at the foreign ministry in Rome on 23 November.

There are 13 infectious diseases affecting 140 countries around the world and causing the deaths of over a half-million people every year. Such a health impact could be greatly reduced through the appropriate use of low-cost medicines and by promoting more pharmaceutical research, given less than 1% of the new drugs registered in the last 20 years address tropical diseases.

The event, which falls within the framework of the agenda of the G8 Health Experts Group under the Italian presidency, will be an occasion for high level experts to debate and analyse all the possible solutions to implement. There will be a contribution from representatives of the World Health Organisation, the international scientific and academic circles, public and private donors, the Italian pharmaceutical industry and NGOs, and the Ministry of Health’s Institute for Advanced Health Studies.

Speakers will include President of the CNBBSV Prof. Leonardo Santi, Head of the WHO’s Department for Neglected Tropical Diseases Control Dr. Lorenzo Savioli, Prof. Francesco Castelli of the Institute for Infectious and Tropical Diseases of the University of Brescia, Dr. Putoto of the NGO CUAMM (Physicians with Africa), Manager of Project Industry 2015 Claudio Cavazza and Prof. Phillip Gomez of the Medical Center of the University of Philadelphia.

Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations on the Millennium Development Goals Prof. Jeffrey Sachs will greet the participants with a video message on the importance of achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Also participating will be the G8 Global Health Experts, who are meeting these days in Rome to conclude their work under the Italian Presidency.

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