Neglected infections can be eliminated at a fraction of nuclear weapon cost

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Washington, Apr 28 (ANI): An editorial published in the journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, has claimed that the 11 nuclear power states (United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel, Iran, and possibly Syria) can eliminate neglected infections, which account for up to 50 percent of the global disease burden, if they were to invest less than 1/10,000th of the cost needed for maintaining their respective nuclear arsenal.

Dr. Peter Hotez, President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Distinguished Research Professor at The George Washington University Medical Center, estimates that "the 11 nuclear weapons states together have invested at least 10 trillion dollars on weapons production and maintenance" while "the costs for both neglected disease control and R and D comes close to a billion dollars, or roughly less than 1/10,000th of the estimated 10 trillion dollars committed for nuclear weapons.", reports EurekAlert.

India accounts for roughly a quarter of the world's 120 million cases of lymphatic filariasis, a disfiguring and stigmatizing vector-borne infection associated with elephantiasis.

Ironically, primary healthcare for all has been a long-standing goal in this country.

Investments in nuclear weaponry are carried out under the auspice of deterring war and thus promoting peace, claims Hotez, but these and additional benefits, can be achieved through neglected disease funding.

"Great efforts are needed to engage leaders of the nuclear weapons states in a frank dialogue about reallocation of resources toward public health and scientific pursuits for neglected tropical disease R and D and control," says Hotez. (ANI)

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