New series examines social science aspects of neglected tropical diseases

TDR news item
17 February 2011

A recent thematic series of four papers in the open access journal Health Research Policy and Systems examines the role of social science research related to 'neglected' tropical diseases. TDR commissioned Brunel University (London, UK) to take on the project in 2008, as part of TDR's body of work on social science research and its new stewardship programme. The review was coordinated by Professor Pascale Allotey, Professor of Public Health and Associate Director of Monash Global Health at the Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine, Monash University (Selangor, Malaysia) and Dr Subhash Pokhrel, a lecturer in health economcis at Brunel University.

The project looks at how research and interventions for neglected tropical diseases still largely neglect the social, ecological, and other contextual factors that allow diseases to persist in specific populations. While these factors are usually ignored, the focus tends to remain on biomedical interventions. The reports highlight the gaps left by this biomedical approach and attempts to identify whether there is an increased role for the social sciences in the control of neglected tropical diseases. Specifically, this series aims to answer the following questions:

  • What defines the NTDs?
  • What are the current approaches to the control of NTDs?
  • What role do the social sciences currently play in this agenda?
  • Should there be greater role for the social sciences and if so what factors contribute or hinder a greater role?

Links to the series can be found here (viewing options - abstract, full text, PDF:)