This essay originally appeared in the August 2010 issue of Criminal Justice Ethics, which is published on behalf of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York. It came out of a workshop that was held in New York City in January 2010 entitled The Ethics of Intervention/Protection: Contending Approaches. The workshop was organized by the Center for International Human Rights (CIHR) and the Institute for Criminal Justice Ethics (ICJE).
Over 1 billion people are infected with one of the 14 diseases defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). These are the most common infections in the 2.7 billion people living on less than $2 a day and affects those often marginalized and forgotten by governments, left to suffer in silence. NTDs are diverse but all cause severe disability or death, and bring a major economic burden on endemic countries.
On August 19, two attacks in Baghdad killed 95 people and wounded nearly 600. These two particularly deadly attacks were a startling reminder of the violence borne by the Iraqi people since the start of the war.
In this interview, Dr. Fournier describes why a global response to the H1N1 pandemic must in the short term focus not only on vaccination, but on reducing mortality worldwide by emphasizing the identification and treatment of the most severe cases; and argues why access to the vaccine in the future must be based on medical need, not purchasing power of wealthy countries.