Neglected infectious diseases do not affect the majority of United States citizens. However, many of these diseases are rampant throughout developing countries. In 2002 these diseases were responsible for more than 50% of lives lost in African countries, but only 3% of lives lost in developed countries, such as the United States (1). Any infectious disease can be considered “neglected” when there is insufficient therapeutic intervention available for the clinical management of that disease (2). Some common examples of neglected diseases that are prevalent in developing countries are malaria and tuberculosis. Developing countries do not have adequate funds to research possible therapeutics to cure the individuals with these diseases. The shortage of proper medications has prompted the United States to consider using tax dollars to begin research on these neglected diseases. This thought has sparked much debate as to if the United States should be investing additional money into problems that do not currently nor directly impact the homeland. While some view the investment as costly and not worth the United States’ time, others view it as a worthy investment that could save present and future lives. It is the opinion of this author that tax dollars should be used to research and develop solutions for neglected diseases. The research is humanitarian, and the United States possesses the knowledge about neglected diseases, will benefit from economic gains, and can defend U.S. citizens against future outbreaks.
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