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INTERLOCKED INFECTIONS: THE HEALTH BURDENS OF SYNDEMICS OF NEGLECTED TROPICAL DISEASES

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Abstract

Tropical disease syndemics, the adverse morbidity-enhancing interaction of two or more neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), like the diseases that comprise them, have been largely unrecognized and generally neglected. However, their role in contributing to the health burden of the poor is significant. This paper presents syndemics as a new theoretical perspective with which to develop a comprehensive approach to understand and respond to the health consequences of adverse interactions among NTDS and between NTDs and other diseases. Specifically the paper examines local social factors and macro-level political economic factors that are both the ultimate source and ultimate arbiter of public and medical responses to syndemics of NTDs.

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