Evian G8 - MSF calls for promises to be kept

At the G8 meeting, MSF is presenting the Abandoned Tropics Photo Gallery.

Tuberculosis, malaria, sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis... Five infectious diseases which were thought to be under control, but are now experiencing a strong resurgence. Affecting essentially populations in the inter-tropical zones (even if some, like tuberculosis, also affect populations in other regions), these diseases kill millions of people each year, 90% of whom are in the developing world.

The creators of the exhibition followed MSF teams and their patients on several continents struck by these five diseases: sleeping sickness (in Uganda and South Sudan), Chagas disease (in Honduras), tuberculosis (in Abkhazia), leishmaniasis (in Peru) and malaria (in Cambodia). Through photos and texts they share with us the everyday life of these patients, their caretakers and their economic and social environment.

Through this exhibition, MSF hopes to make people in the developed world aware of a problem, still largely ignored, which affects a large part of the world’s population.

"Abandoned Tropics" is composed of 82 panels containing photos and texts about five diseases: sleeping sickness (African human trypanosomiasis), Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis), cutaneous and muco-cutaneous leishmaniasis, tuberculosis and malaria:

The G8 must work to increase research and development for drugs for neglected diseases such as sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. These diseases cause enormous suffering and death, but doctors have little or nothing to offer patients.

What MSF is calling on G8 member states to do

MSF calls on G8 member states to respect commitments made at previous summits and to take concrete measures to make medicines accessible to those who need them at affordable prices by :

  • ensuring that a genuine equity-pricing system is implemented to guarantee a sustainable, broad-ranging access to medicines at the lowest possible cost.
  • respecting the spirit of the Doha Declaration and encouraging developing countries to put to use, in a simple and efficient manner, the measures contained in the TRIPS agreement (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights).
  • contributing massively to the Global Fund to fight Aids, Malaria and Tuberculosis.
  • increasing Research and Development for neglected diseases.

G8: Unkept promises

  • Reduce by 25% the number of young people infected by HIV/AIDS
  • Reduce by 50% the rate of tuberculosis prevalence and mortality
  • Reduce by 50% the burden of disease associated with malaria.

These goals are far from being reached; in fact the situation for these three diseases has deteriorated significantly.

HIV/AIDS - What works

Today, MSF treats 2,600 patients, including more than 100 children, with ARVs in 10 countries MSF is going to double the number of patients treated in already existing programmes this year, and to start similar programmes in another nine countries.

Malaria - what works

There are 300 to 500 million cases of malaria each year in more than 90 countries, 90% of which are in Africa. 1.5 to 2 million people per year die from malaria, 90% of whom are African children. It is also the leading cause of death in children under the age of five in Africa and kills between 1.3 to 1.8 million children each year.

Visceral Leishmaniasis - what works

The drug most commonly used to treat kala-azar, sodium stibogluconate, was discovered over 70 years ago. It has to be administered through intramuscular injections or intravenously. Its toxicity is such that it often provokes side effects, and sometimes even death, in 10% of patients. Newer treatments exist but they are not accessible for the majority of African patients.