Preventing and controlling vector-borne diseases (diseases spread by organisms, such as insects) is one of the key global health challenges facing the international community today. Due to the devastating effects these diseases have on the world’s poorest countries, DSW welcomes the move to prioritise this theme as part of this year’s World Health Day on April 7th.


Diseases such as malaria, Chagas, and schistosomiasis are preventable, yet they have the biggest impact on mortality – at the moment, more than half of the world’s population is at risk of these diseases. With many of these diseases linked directly or indirectly to maternal and sexual and reproductive health, they are having a devastating impact on the lives of both this generation and the next.


Renate Baehr, Executive Director, DSW, commented: “Accelerating the development of innovative, cost-effective, and accessible interventions to prevent and treat poverty-related and neglected diseases is one of the key global challenges we face today. Innovative mechanisms that have been shown to be able to produce much-needed targeted and accessible interventions, for example the Product Development Partnership (PDP) model, are one way forward to responding to the challenge of poverty-related and neglected diseases.


“DSW, therefore, welcomes the announcement made in Paris on April 2nd by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank, other donors and industry actors to follow up commitments made at the 2012 London Declaration and provide additional funding to support capacity building in research and the development of new medical interventions. Initiatives such as these can only add to the momentum already established for the fight against poverty-related and neglected diseases such as malaria.”


As we approach the final negotiations on the post-2015 agenda, it is important to ensure that these efforts continue to be supported at the international level. Renate Baehr added: “Innovative responses to the challenges of vector-borne diseases that impact on maternal and child health need to be taken into consideration in the successors to the Millennium Development Goals, and in other programmes and initiatives at the international level. This way, we can secure long-term support and action to eradicate these diseases.”


Read DSW’s linking paper on the interconnectedness of global health R&D, poverty-related and neglected diseases and the fight for sexual and reproductive health and rights here:

Watch this video on the importance of EU investment in global health R&D innovation:

For more information about DSW’s involvement in GH R&D and its work on poverty-related and neglected diseases:


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About DSW:

DSW (Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung) is an international development and advocacy organisation. We empower young people and communities in low- and middle-income countries by addressing the issues of population dynamics and by improving health as a way to achieve sustainable development. With a headquarters in Hanover, Germany, DSW maintains four country offices in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, as well as a liaison office in Berlin, Germany and Brussels, Belgium.


Media Contact:                                                                     

Eoghan Walsh

Communications Officer, DSW

+32 485 399 443