Efforts to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic: potential entry points for neglected tropical diseases
Infect Dis Poverty
BACKGROUND: The damage inflicted by the coronavirus diseases 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic upon humanity is and will continue to be considerable. Unprecedented progress made in global health over the past 20 years has reverted and economic growth has already evaporated, giving rise to a global recession, the likes of which we may not have experienced since the Second World War. Our aim is to draw the attention of the neglected tropical disease (NTD) community towards some of the major emerging economic opportunities which are quickly appearing on the horizon as a result of COVID-19. MAIN TEXT: This scoping review relied on a literature search comprised of a sample of articles, statements, and press releases on initiatives aimed at mitigating the impact of COVID-19, while supporting economic recovery. Of note, the donor scenario and economic development agendas are highly dynamic and expected to change rapidly as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, as are donor and lender priorities. CONCLUSIONS: The NTD community, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), will need to work quickly, diligently, and in close collaboration with decision-makers and key stakeholders, across sectors at national and international level to secure its position. Doing so might enhance the odds of grasping potential opportunities to access some of the massive resources that are now available in the form of contributions from corporate foundations, trust funds, loans, debt relieve schemes, and other financial mechanisms, as part of the ongoing and future economic development agendas and public health priorities driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper should serve as a starting point for the NTD community to seek much needed financial support in order to sustain and revitalize control and elimination efforts pertaining to NTDs in LMICs.