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Responses to tropical disease burdens are shaped by political, social, economic, and scientific considerations and intrinsically involve ethical values and judgements about how competing priorities should be addressed at multinational, national, institutional, and individual levels. This chapter begins by reviewing examples of ethical issues associated with recent multinational approaches to addressing global burdens of tropical disease. The roles that ethical judgements play in identifying, prioritizing, and developing responses to such burdens are outlined, drawing on five core concepts of collective action, fairness, equal respect, human rights, and reducing suffering. Four case studies illustrate how competing ethical considerations have been addressed in practice during public health and research. These case studies focus on dengue vaccination, vector control strategies, research responses to epidemics and outbreaks, and controlled human infection studies. The chapter concludes by highlighting the importance of fair, respectful, inclusive, and contextually appropriate approaches to minimizing topical disease burdens.

Original publication





Book title

Manson's Tropical Diseases, Fourth Edition

Publication Date



64 - 69