Why America must care about tropical medicine: threats to global health and security from tropical infectious diseases.

Abstract

Fellow members of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, distinguished guests and friends, it is certainly an honor to be sharing this podium today with Dr. Hughes, Dr. Feachem, and Dr. Varmus. First, I thank Dr. James Hughes for his gracious introduction. I must say that one of life’s greatest riches is continuing to learn from one’s fellows. As the first in an extraordinary group of fellows with whom I have had the privilege to work, Jim Hughes, now director of the National Center of Infectious Diseases, has clearly led not only the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but also our U.S. and global awakening to emerging infectious diseases. I also want to thank you, the members of our Society, for the honor of serving as your president. There is no greater honor than recognition by one’s peers. However, I must confess that my immediate concern was that you had given me a very sobering responsibility; that of representing our Society at an important pivotal moment of potentially unprecedented awareness of the threats to us all from the growing health crises in the tropics. These threats will be the focus of my talk. After a brief overview of our history, I shall divide these threats into three areas: 1) emerging infectious diseases, 2) exploding population without improved health, and 3) erosion of our humanity and leadership if we turn our backs on the health problems of the growing majority of people on our planet. I shall then argue that we devote dangerously little attention and resources to the health problems of the growing majority of people living in the tropics. Finally, the members of this Society are the repository of insight and experience in tropical medicine. As such, ours is the sobering responsibility to educate modern society about the critical importance to us all of tropical medicine and global health.

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@article{Guerrant1998WhyAM, title={Why America must care about tropical medicine: threats to global health and security from tropical infectious diseases.}, author={Richard Littleton Guerrant}, journal={The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene}, year={1998}, volume={59 1}, pages={3-16} }