Leading non tropical disease experts will meet in Boston this weekend to discuss the U.S. government's approach to neglected tropical diseases at the first ever NTD meeting of the International Society of Infectious Diseases.
The meeting will provide non profit organizations and policy makers with the opportunity to understand the toll these illnesses can have. Neglected tropical diseases, which include elephantiasis, river blindness, and Chagas, affect 1 billion of the world's poorest people.
The U.S. leads the fight against NTDs, but funding is slim when compared to the amount funneled into diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Prior to 2006 funding for NTDs had not been designated by Congress— and when the Obama administration announced the Global Health Initiative (GHI) two years ago, NTDs were included on its agenda.
Here’s a breakdown of what U.S. funding for NTDs has looked like for the past five years, and what President Obama has requested from Congress in 2012:
Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of data from the Office of Management and Budget, Agency Congressional Budget Justifications, and Congressional Appropriations Bills.