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Respaldando a los innovadores de la salud en el mundo en desarrollo

DHAKA – En 2012, la Declaración de Londres sobre las Enfermedades Tropicales Desatendidas señaló una nueva visión audaz para la cooperación internacional, en la cual la creación de una red de contactos y la globalización podían respaldar esfuerzos en el sur global destinados a erradicar enfermedades mortales que afectan de manera desproporcionada a las comunidades más pobres. La Declaración de Londres -la mayor colaboración en materia de salud pública global hasta la fecha- ayudó a impulsar la confianza en el orden global basado en reglas que surgió después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial.

Sin embargo, esta confianza ganada con esfuerzo hoy corre un serio peligro en tanto las fuerzas populistas en todo el mundo occidental tienen en la mira los acuerdos de ayuda externa de sus países. En particular, el presidente Donald Trump ha anunciado recortes indiscriminados en el presupuesto de ayuda internacional de Estados Unidos, para apaciguar a los votantes estadounidenses económicamente frustrados que quieren que el dinero que pagan en impuestos se gaste en casa. Lo que esta estrategia no reconoce es que las recompensas a largo plazo de respaldar la investigación médica en el sur global superan con creces los costos a corto plazo.

En mi condición de investigador bangladesí en el Centro Internacional de Investigación sobre las Enfermedades Diarreicas, Bangladesh (icddr,b por su sigla en inglés), estuve íntimamente involucrado en los esfuerzos locales por erradicar la leishmaniasis visceral (LV, también conocida como kala-azar), una de las enfermedades cubiertas por la Declaración de Londres. Gracias al apoyo generoso de donantes internacionales, he podido llevar a cabo una investigación innovadora en el terreno.

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