The term ‘tropical diseases’ refers to those infectious diseases that thrive in the hot, humid conditions of the tropics.
Almost as a synonym, ‘neglected diseases’ comprise a set of infectious diseases, that primarily affect the poorest of the poor, the most marginalized, and those with the least access to health services, especially impoverished people living in remote rural areas. What Malaria, as a well-known disease, has in common with a neglected disease like River Blindness, is the fact that they are vector-borne.
Vectors are living organisms that can transmit pathogens that cause infectious diseases between humans or from animals to humans. Taken together, neglected, tropical and vector-borne diseases account for more than 17% of all infectious diseases worldwide, causing more than 700 000 deaths annually. Globalization, climate change and population dynamics as well as resistance and the lack of innovative treatments makes these diseases a major health risk.
As many of these diseases are preventable through informed protective measures, this website aims to offer a view on the diseases as a public health topic from various perspectives. Their history, the challenges to fight them and the growing number of initiatives focusing on the goal of eliminating or – at least – controlling these diseases are a call on duty for all who get in touch with the topic. With this portal of information we hope to invite people from different backgrounds to engage: by being aware of what still needs to be done.
About Bayer and VBNTDs
To fight neglected tropical and vector-borne diseases, Bayer experts at Animal Health, Environmental Science and Pharmaceuticals came together in a cross-divisional “Public Health” working group in 2016.
The team shares knowledge, following a triple mission: to prevent causes, provide cures and raise awareness through communication. When it comes to public health and infectious diseases, it is not just humans who are at risk, but many vector-borne diseases caused by the bite of insects, fleas or ticks are highly pathogenic for both humans and animals. This is called zoonosis and an often neglected aspect of these diseases. The WHO One-Health approach targets this - as many of the same microbes infect animals and humans, as they share the eco-systems they live in. (See: http://www.who.int/features/qa/one-health/en/)
Fighting neglected, tropic and vector-borne diseases is particularly complex: Diagnosis, treatment, education, prevention and stringent vector control must go hand in hand. With its activities in medicines, vector control and animal health, Bayer therefore has a strong interest in combining expertise. This approach contributes to a strategic fight, supported by all stakeholders.