Business as usual will not beat neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).
NTDs persist and have the most serious consequences in some of the most remote and underserved areas of our world and among some of the most vulnerable members of society. In these contexts, people and health systems are confronted with multiple challenges to find, diagnose, treat and manage the complications of NTDs.
Innovative thinking and approaches can open up new ways to:
1. Break barriers: Understanding the problem is key to finding effective solutions that break through barriers to health access. Barriers can be social, environmental, geographic, systemic or personal. They can be complex or surprisingly simple.
2. Accelerate progress: For some NTDs, proven solutions exist and shouldn’t be overlooked. New partnerships, actionable data, ‘leapfrog’ thinking or new business models can accelerate or multiply the impact of working solutions.
3. Engage all stakeholders: Innovative thinking knows no boundaries. We’ve seen it emerge in remote communities, in small hospitals and well-funded research laboratories. Innovation can and should be inclusive, not just focused on those at risk of NTDs, but including them in the solution whenever possible.