“Vaccine Diplomacy”: Historical Perspectives and Future Directions

Vaccine diplomacy is the branch of global health diplomacy that relies on the use or delivery of vaccines, while vaccine science diplomacy is a unique hybrid of global health and science diplomacy. Both offer innovative opportunities to promote United States (US) foreign policy and diplomatic relations between adversarial nations. Vaccine science diplomacy could also lead to the development and testing of some highly innovative neglected disease vaccines. Read the rest here

Advancing Sino-Indian Cooperation to Combat Tropical Diseases

In 2005 India, Nepal, and Bangladesh signed a landmark agreement to eliminate visceral leishmaniasis in South Asia. There is an exciting opportunity for India and China to also engage in international science diplomacy for controlling or eliminating the major neglected tropical diseases in their two countries, and thereby reducing the global NTD burden by up to 40% or more.

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Unleashing “Civilian Power”: A New American Diplomacy through Neglected Tropical Disease Control, Elimination, Research, and Developmen

In a November/December 2010 article published in the influential journal Foreign Affairs, United States Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton articulated a new vision for American diplomacy and development through the strengthening of what she terms “civilian power”. In this new doctrine, Secretary Clinton proposes that together the State Department and USAID would establish a premier global civilian service for responding to complex diplomatic and development challenges. Achieving such an ambitious goal would also mandate that USAID look beyond its walls to embrace business, philanthropist, and citizen groups, with dual emphases on partnering with some of the large emerging market economies (EMEs), i.e., China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, and South Africa, for joint problem solving, and harnessing selected technologies, such as rapidly expanding cell phone access, for establishing a sustainable and lasting impact.

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Nuclear Weapons and Neglected Diseases: The “Ten-Thousand-to-One Gap”

Together, the world’s eight acknowledged nuclear powers—the United States (US), Russia, United Kingdom (UK), France, China, India, Pakistan, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)—have amassed an arsenal of almost 30,000 nuclear weapons since 1945. In addition, Israel is believed to be a nuclear power while Iran (and possibly Syria as well) is also suspected of developing nuclear weapons. Despite the technological sophistication that has enabled the 11 nuclear weapons states to produce and deliver nuclear bombs, most of these nations simultaneously also suffer from high internal rates of poverty and endemic neglected diseases. They include high prevalence rates of neglected tropical diseases in India, China, Pakistan, Iran, and Syria, and related neglected infections of poverty in the US and Europe. Indeed, the 11 nuclear weapons states together account for up to one-half of the global disease burden from all neglected diseases. However, for a tiny fraction (less than 1/10,000th) of the costs of producing and maintaining a nuclear arsenal the 11 nuclear powers could eliminate most of their neglected diseases and engage in joint neglected disease research and development efforts that help to reduce international tensions and promote world peace.

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