In Depth:Under H.R. 4847, USAID and the U.N. would be required to increase research
efforts into tropical diseases, including:
Domestically, the bill would mandate that the Secretary of Health and Human Services submit a report to Congress
on the status of NTDs in the United States. The Secretary would also be able to grant funding to private and public entities that
are researching NTDs or providing services for individuals afflicted by
them. Lastly, the Director of the National
Institutes of Health would need to assemble a panel of experts to
brainstorm strategies for fighting the spread of parasitic worms.
- monitoring contagion patterns,
- creating disease prevention educational campaigns,
- finding ways to
treat and eliminate NTDs.
Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) introduced this bill in June, shortly before West Africa’s Ebola outbreak spread to Lagos, Nigeria, one of Africa’s most densely populated cities. Smith — who is the chairman of the Africa/Global Health/Global Human Rights subcommittee — recently promised to amend H.R. 4847 to include Ebola in the list of NTDs.
The House of Representatives also introduced a resolution expressing concern for the largest outbreak of Ebola ever recorded. H.Res. 701 also requests that the U.S. government address the disease’s potential threat to public health in the United States and abroad.
Sponsoring Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ) Press Release
Sponsoring Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ) Ebola News Release
GNN Liberia(Photo Credit: Flickr user EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection)