Updated on 22 June 2012
With Indian vaccine companies having the capabilities to supply more than 50 percent of the world's requirement of vaccines, it would be an irony if diseases such as these would remain unaddressed. Another factor needed for the successful elimination of these diseases is a concerted government effort that would make the vaccine, when produced, available to the target population. Having acknowledged the problem, Bangladesh, India and Nepal signed a memorandum of understanding in 2005 to eliminate visceral leishmaniasis by reducing the incidence of the disease to less than one case in 10,000 individuals by 2015. With only three years left for the deadline, vaccine initiatives such as the ones mentioned need to be supported adequately by the Indian government for them to make a difference.
Industry experts and government officials agree that the need of the hour is to find a 'made in India' solution to this problem. Other neglected diseases, such as sleeping sickness and dengue, too need a strong campaign for R&D to ensure their prevention and cure. The responsibility of such initiatives to find new treatment modalities fall upon those countries that carry the burden of the disease itself, and initiatives such as these provide hope for effective prevention of such diseases.