Two men in Mexico at sunset.

Le malattie neglette degli emarginati

WASHINGTON, DC – Quando Papa Francesco andò in visita negli Stati Uniti a settembre, fece dei discorsi storici al Congresso americano e all’Assemblea generale delle Nazioni Unite. Facendo riferimento ai sentimenti della sua lettera enciclica, Laudato Si’, Papa Francesco ha sottolineato la responsabilità della comunità internazionale di rispondere alla sofferenza umana, come quella affrontata dai profughi e da coloro che vivono in condizioni di estrema povertà, e ha invocato la solidarietà globale per superare l’esclusione e la disuguaglianza sociale.

Le suppliche del Papa dovrebbero far spostare la nostra attenzione su ogni aspetto della sofferenza umana, soprattutto su quelli che colpiscono le persone più emarginate. Tra questi ci sono le malattie tropicali neglette (NDT). Questo gruppo di infezioni parassitarie – incluse la filariasi linfatica (o elefantiasi), i vermi intestinali e la schistosomiasi – rappresenta un flagello della povertà. Tali malattie colpiscono circa 1,4 miliardi di persone l’anno, tra cui più di 500 milioni di bambini, causando grandi sofferenze e dolore e, attraverso la produttività persa, contribuiscono al ciclo di povertà.

Nell’ultimo decennio la comunità internazionale ha compiuto importanti passi avanti contro le  NDT. La generosità di grandi case farmaceutiche, che forniscono farmaci gratuiti, ha consentito, ad esempio, di potenziare i programmi di trattamento.

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