Two men in Mexico at sunset.

Die vernachlässigten Krankheiten marginalisierter Menschen

WASHINGTON, DC – Als Papst Franziskus im September die Vereinigten Staaten besuchte, hielt er historische Reden im US-Kongress und auf der Vollversammlung der Vereinten Nationen. Anknüpfend an die Gedanken seiner Enzyklika Laudato Si’, betonte Franziskus die Verantwortung der internationalen Gemeinschaft, auf das Leiden der Menschen zu reagieren, etwa das der Flüchtlinge oder jener Menschen, die in extremer Armut leben, und rief zu weltweiter Solidarität auf, um soziale Ausgrenzung und Ungleichheit zu überwinden.

Die Appelle des Papstes sind ein Aufruf, allen Aspekten menschlichen Leidens unsere Aufmerksamkeit zu widmen, vor allem jenen, von denen die Ausgegrenzten am Rande der Gesellschaft betroffen sind. Ein Beispiel sind vernachlässigte tropische Krankheiten (Neglected Tropical Diseases, NTD). Diese Gruppe von parasitären und damit zusammenhängenden Erkrankungen – unter anderem lymphatische Filariose (Elephantiasis), Eingeweidewürmer und Schistosomiasis – sind eine Geißel der Armut. Diese Krankheiten, von denen rund 1,4 Milliarden Menschen pro Jahr betroffen sind, darunter über 500 Millionen Kinder, verursachen unsägliches Leid und Schmerzen und tragen durch Produktivitätsverluste zum Kreislauf der Armut bei.

In den vergangenen zehn Jahren hat die internationale Gemeinschaft bedeutende Fortschritte bei der Bekämpfung der NTD erzielt. So hat etwa die Großzügigkeit von großen Pharmaunternehmen, die unentgeltlich Medikamente zur Verfügung stellen, eine Ausweitung der Behandlungsprogramme ermöglicht.

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