Two men in Mexico at sunset.

Les maladies tropicales négligées : fléau des populations marginalisées

WASHINGTON, DC – En visite officielle aux États-Unis au mois de septembre, le pape François a formulé un discours historique devant le Congrès américain et l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies. Dans la lignée de son encyclique intitulée Laudato Si’, le pape a souligné la responsabilité de la communauté internationale consistant à réagir face aux souffrances humaines du type de celles que subissent les réfugiés et les personnes vivant dans l’extrême pauvreté, appelant à une solidarité mondiale afin que puissent être surmontées l’exclusion et les inégalités sociales. 

Il est important que nous nous inspirions des supplications du pape en concentrant notre attention sur tous les aspects de la souffrance humaine, et particulièrement sur les malheurs qui affectent les individus les plus marginalisés. Parmi ces causes de souffrance figurent les maladies tropicales négligées (MTN). Cette catégorie d’infections parasitaires et connexes – qui englobe la filariose lymphatique (ou éléphantiasis), les vers intestinaux et la schistosomiase – constitue un véritable fléau lié à la pauvreté. Ces maladies frappent environ 1,4 milliard de personnes chaque année, dont plus de 500 millions d’enfants, entraînant des douleurs et souffrances indicibles, et contribuant – en raison d’une perte de productivité – à alimenter le cercle vicieux de la pauvreté.

Au cours des dix dernières années, la communauté internationale a accompli d’importantes avancées face aux MTN. La générosité de plusieurs grandes sociétés pharmaceutiques, qui fournissent gratuitement certains médicaments, a notamment permis de développer un certain nombre de programmes de traitement.

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