Forgotten Diseases Key to Lifting Developing World from Poverty, Destitution and Despair

Jim Sliwa

WASHINGTON, DC -- April 8, 2008 -- One of the main obstacles towards progress in the developing world is the litany of tropical diseases affecting residents that have not been seriously addressed by the public health community.  This is the message of a new book, Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases, published by ASM Press.


“Some of the worst tropical diseases in the world have too long been ignored.  Parasitic and bacterial diseases such as hookworm, snail fever, river blindness, guinea worm, elephantiasis, sleeping sickness and leprosy are the most common infections of third-world populations.  These neglected tropical diseases represent one of the most important reasons why populations living in Africa, Asia and Central and South America remain caught in a vicious cycle of poverty, stigma and despair,” says author Peter Hotez of the George Washington University.


With a lifetime devoted to the subject of tropical diseases, Hotez provides a comprehensive view of these forgotten diseases.  Written in accessible, straightforward language, Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases thoroughly explains the most significant NTDs, including social and economic aspects, public health concerns, and preventative measures.


The book is intended to raise public awareness about these forgotten diseases and their enormous physical, social, and economic costs to individuals and nations alike, and advocates for the largely voiceless victims living in remote and rural regions. Hotez also provides a roadmap to coordinate global advocacy and mobilization of resources to combat these conditions and addresses unique opportunities to fight the neglected tropical diseases through low-cost and highly cost-effective control measures.


Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases summarizes in mostly non-technical language the major concepts about neglected tropical diseases and how they cause human suffering, as well as their global importance and the unique and unusual opportunity we now have to lift the world’s poorest people out of poverty through low-cost and highly cost-effective control measures,” says Hotez.


Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases has a list price of $39.95 and can be purchased through ASM Press online at through other online retailers.


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ASM Press is the book publishing arm of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the oldest and largest single life science membership organization in the world. The ASM's mission is to promote research in the microbiological sciences and to assist communication between scientists, policy makers, and the public to improve health and foster economic well-being.


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