“Disease” meaning “destruction of ease” is very well known to us. Majorly, there has been the emergence of many diseases due to our lifestyle. Our lifestyle plays a crucial role in the emergence of such deadly diseases. By Lifestyle I mean not only what we eat but also what effect does our comfort has on our surroundings. For instance, littering around, collection of water which indirectly leads to the breeding of mosquitoes, and many more leads to the emergence of various microorganisms which are known to cause deadly diseases. One such disease known as “Malaria” is very well known to us, as it has been the cause of many deaths in recent times. Malaria is a parasitic killer and every one of us is aware of its causes, symptoms, and treatment. Let’s talk about a Tropical disease which is second to Malaria as a parasitic killer, but people aren’t aware of it. A form of the tropical disease begins with large open sores that don’t heal; and then migrates to the nose and lips, rotting away like a form of leprosy. Thereby, leaving the victim badly disfigured. Another strain of it is far more deadly as it attacks the spleen, liver and bone marrow.
The disease is named as “Leishmaniasis” and the deadly strain of the disease infects 300,000 people annually, causing 20,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. You might be wondering that with such deadly outcomes of the disease, why haven’t any one of us heard of it. The answer remains in the fact that it is a tropical disease which is primarily suffered by the impoverished populations in the world and is a distant threat to the developed countries. Someone ought to take an initiative towards such neglected diseases. Luckily, here comes two professors of the Northeastern University who consider it to be their top priority. Richard Wamai and Michael Pollastri cofounded the Integrated Initiative for global health at the Northeastern University to spearhead their interdisciplinary work on neglected diseases. Wamai who is an expert in global health is building a research center in rural Kenya where he has been conducting research on leishmaniasis for the past eight years and also encourages his students at the Northeastern University for a research trips to the African nation. Pollastri is, however attacking the problem in his Northeastern lab, where he develops new medicines to combat neglected tropical diseases. He develops new medicines to combat neglected tropical diseases.
Wamai could relate to the people of rural Kenya as he himself grew up in a rural Kenya village with no electricity, running water or indoor toilets. “Growing up, every little boy had intestinal worms at some point,” he said. These professors are doing all they can do to treat the neglected diseases and are a great inspiration to every one of us.