Contact   |   Search on EUROPA  
Communicable diseases
image Home
image Overview
image Three main diseases
image Facts and figures
image Treatment
image Accelerating R&D
image EU Networking
image For more information
   
image image
image Other thematic projects

 

image

Overview

Disease means poverty. More than ever before it is an obstacle to economic development. Communicable diseases constitute 60% of the disease burden of developing countries, the major killers being AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria. Although largely preventable and/or treatable, they kill about 5 million people each year.

Through its Fifth Framework Programme, the European Commission has invested increasingly in research targeting these diseases. For the period 1999-2002, around Euro130 million have been earmarked for research on AIDS, TB and malaria.

Following a decision at the G8 summit in Okinawa (July 2000) to accelerate action against these diseases, the EU is now active in three major areas: optimising existing activities in developing countries; making key pharmaceuticals more affordable; and investing in research into new medicines and vaccines.

Strengthening support for R&D requires innovative partnerships (notably with industry) and reinforced co-ordination. The European scientific community is already working with the vaccine industry in a unique international collaboration. But better co-ordination is necessary to expand R&D even further, to accept a greater degree of investment risk, and to move from serial to parallel testing of candidate drugs/vaccines. In this respect, the recent Commission initiative to create a European Research Area provides the ideal opportunity to improve research programmes and activities undertaken by the Member States.

This long-term strategy should enable the EU to contribute to facing the major challenge of poverty-related disease by confronting growing epidemics and reducing the ravages of AIDS, TB and malaria in the developing world.

Top

 
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Communicable Diseases