Global Christianity and the Control of Its Neglected Tropical Diseases

Christian institutions and organizations could have an important role in expanding the control or treatment of NTDs among the 1.3 billion Christians estimated to live in the Global South. As was pointed out earlier, both local archdioceses of the Catholic Church and Catholic charities have been involved in implementing deworming and other preventive chemotherapy strategies [2], but there are opportunities for the Vatican to have an expanded role particularly because of the unique commitment by Pope Francis to the poor. Similarly, the leadership of Orthodox Christianity has opportunities to speak out about NTDs, especially in a disease-endemic country such as Ethiopia. Many faith-based organizations could play an essential role in both preventive chemotherapy and programs related to health education and WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene), while priests and pastors could serve as key advocates for enlisting community support for NTDs. Finally, the leading Christian-based universities in the United States and in developing countries could make important contributions on research and development for new or improved interventions to combat NTDs, such as new drugs, diagnostics, and vaccines, and help lead relevant programs of operational research. Christian organizations and institutions could help raise funds for such research.

Read the whole article in PLOS NTDs here

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