For the first time, a pharmaceutical company from an emerging country contributes to definitely eradicate Bouba from the world

Publicação: 11 de June de 2017

From every 10 affected people, seven are children living mainly in poor and rural communities in Africa

Brazilian EMS committed to donate azithromycin, the antibiotic needed to accelerate the combat to this rare disease

During the most important week for tropical neglected diseases, Brazilian pharmaceutical EMS announced its support to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) initiative to eradicate Bouba from the world until 2020. In this partnership, EMS will supply all azithromycin antibiotics needed. During the first year, EMS is expected to supply 40 million pills.

The representative, president at the NC Group’s Board, from which EMS is the main company, Carlos Sanchez, explains that for the past years, the company has payed close attention to the access by patients with neglected diseases and found, in the bouba eradication project, a great opportunity to cooperate with health promotion in a global scale. “Through the company’s scientific committees in Brazil and in the USA, we have identified opportunities, as the WHO’s approach to eradicate bouba, aiming to expand health access promotion to an ever-increasing number of people. Bouba eradication is a huge challenge, which was accepted with great determination”, he said.

Head of the Neglected Tropical Diseases Control Department at the WHO, Dr. Dirk Engels, says the announcement is good news for people, especially for those suffering with bouba and now can be cured with a single treatment. “With this donation, we expect to involve and encourage countries where the transmission is still takin place to eradicate this disease”, he signs. From every 10 affected people, seven are children living mainly in rural and poor areas in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific.

Still according to Sanchez, only gathering efforts it will be possible to eradicate diseases and improve life quality for people around the world. “The success implementing the WHO’s strategy could make bouba the first disease to be eradicated with the use of antibiotics”, he observes. The only disease ever eradicated is smallpox – in 1980, using a vaccine. Other diseases close to being eradicated are poliomyelitis and dracunculiasis.

The administration of a single dose of oral azithromycin should ease the new WHO eradication strategy implementation developed in 2012, which is to map communities with the disease and supply mass-treatment for all eligible individuals in these communities, followed by oriented treatment for those who still have the disease and their close relatives. It also involves maintaining awareness to the disease and permanent active clinical and epidemiological surveillance in order to identify any new cases.

Bouba is listed by the WHO as one of the 18 neglected tropical diseases. From 2008 to 2015, 461 thousand cases were reported in 13 countries where the diseases is currently endemic. For many years, Brazil has not reported cases of the disease. In 2016, India was the first country to be certified by the WHO as free of bouba. A few years ago, treatment included benzathine penicillin injections. In 1950, the WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) led a worldwide effort to eradicate the disease using penicillin injections in mass-treatment campaigns. Over 300 million people were examined and over 50 million were treated. Until 1964, the number of cases had dropped to 2.5 million people, but the goal to eradicate the disease was never reached. In 2012, researchers discovered that a single azithromycin dose was extremely effective, what would allow, for the cure easiness, to eradicate the disease. Researchers believe humans are the only hosts and the transmission happens from person to person.…