Letter from the Director: April 2012

Tue, 2012-04-24 16:21 -- Eric Strunz

CWW's new Director, Dr. David Addiss, introduces us to this month's issue of the Quarterly Dose and the exciting future of STH control. In it, we explore the changing world of STH control; CWW announces its partnership with GlaxoSmithKline; we introduce new leadership and learn about opportunities for the STH Advisory Committee; we discuss ways to engage the education sector in STH control; and we learn about CWW's work with Bolivia to pilot a deworming program.

Click the Read More link below to read the complete Letter from the Director.


CWW Director, Dr. David AddissGreetings!

The last few months have been ones of dynamic change and increasing global momentum to control soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH). Most notable, perhaps, was a meeting in the United Kingdom on January 30, 2012, which was marked by the release of the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases.

At the meeting, several major organizations, including pharmaceutical companies, bilateral aid agencies, private foundations, the World Health Organization, and the World Bank, pledged to “chart a new course toward health and sustainability among the world’s poorest communities to a stronger, healthier future.” More specifically for STH, they committed themselves to “expand and extend drug access programs to ensure the necessary supply of drugs and other interventions to help control STH by 2020.” 

As part of the London Declaration, both Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline pledged to extend until 2020 their donations of mebendazole and albendazole, respectively, for STH control. Together, they have committed to donating up to 600 million treatments each year through 2020—almost 5 billion treatments! The potential impact on the health of children worldwide is hard to imagine. Children Without Worms (CWW) looks forward to working with our many partners to be good stewards of the donations and to ensure that they benefit those most in need.

In this edition of the Quarterly Dose we are pleased to announce the strengthening of our partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, which has joined Johnson & Johnson and the Task Force for Global Health to support CWW. The partnership between Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline marks the first time that two pharmaceutical companies have collaborated to provide, free of charge, the same class of drugs for the same condition (STH) on such a massive scale. CWW is privileged to be part of this bold new venture in global health. 

In his book Lila, the American writer and philosopher Robert Pirsig reflects on the nature of change and its relation to quality, which he describes as either dynamic or static. One experiences dynamic quality during periods of great change; without dynamic quality, individuals and organizations cannot grow. In contrast, static quality provides structure; without static quality, individuals and organizations cannot last. Both are required for life, but Pirsig considers dynamic quality to be superior.

I imagine that Pirsig would find himself very much at home with the dynamic growth that is now unfolding for global STH control. I invite you, the reader, to peruse this issue of the Quarterly Dose and taste this dynamic quality for yourself.


David Addiss MD, MPH
Children Without Worms