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Neglected tropical diseases and systemic racism especially in Brazil: from socio-economic aspects to the development of new drugs


Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are highly prevalent communicable diseases in tropical and subtropical countries, generally not economically attractive for drug development and related to poverty. In Brazil, more specifically, socioeconomic inequalities and health indicators are strongly influenced by skin color, race, and ethnicity, due to the historical process of slavery. In this context, it is important to understand the concept of systemic racism: a form of indirect racial discrimination present in many institutions, which determines the process of illness and death of the black population, the ethnic group most affected by these diseases. The main objective of this paper was to carry out a literature review on the socioeconomic aspects of these diseases, relating them to institutional racism, and to encourage reflection on the influence of this type of racism in the NTDs context. Therefore, we present a paper that brings a evident correlation between racism versus neglected populations, which are affected by equally neglected diseases. A more humane and comprehensive view is needed to realize that these illnesses affect neglected and vulnerable populations, who require decent living conditions, health, and social justice. We hope to provide, with this paper, enough, but not exhaust, knowledge to initiate the discussion about neglected diseases, their socioeconomic aspects and institutional racism.

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Journal Article
da Conceição JR
Lopes CGP
Ferreira EI
Epiphanio S
Giarolla J