Fight against neglected tropical diseases – Meeting between Laurent Fabius and Bill Gates (Paris, April 2, 2014)
Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, received Bill Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill Gates hosted in Paris a joint event with the Institut Pasteur to promote the fight against neglected tropical diseases (dengue fever, leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, etc.).
France is mobilized in support of the fight against neglected tropical diseases. It supported the creation in 2004 of a specific department at the World Health Organization and helped to fund the Global Observatory for research into neglected tropical diseases, which will soon be launched at the WHO. Our top specialists are taking part in this effort, notably at the Institut Pasteur, the Research Institute for Development and INSERM.
This is a major challenge for development: A billion people are affected by these diseases. As such, the French Development Agency will award a grant of €2 million to the “Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative” to develop new drugs to treat visceral leishmaniasis, which affects 200,000 to 400,000 new people every year. This contribution will be in addition to the €5 million already allocated to efforts to combat malaria, sleeping sickness and pediatric AIDS.