<P>each of which are OIC member states (5). Moreover, additional polio outbreaks over the past year on the Horn of Africa and ex- tending across a polio importation belt to West Africa a?ect- ed several OIC member countries, as did outbreaks in Syria and Yemen (6–8). The latest threats to the success of U.S. vaccine di- plomacy in the Islamic world were the recent targeted killings of polio vaccinators by the Taliban and other extremist groups (4, 9). Here, I describe a second and mostly untapped vaccine diplomacy opportunity focused on a group of highly destabilizing and poverty-promoting tropical diseases now threatening some of the most important OIC nations in terms of their strategic importance to the United States. MOVING BEYOND POLIO: THE NEGLECTED TROPICAL DISEASES My analysis of the worlds neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in 2009 strongly reinforced the urgency for large-scale global health interventions and global health diplomacy for Islamic-majority countries (10). NTDs are chronic and debilitating parasitic and re- lated infections that trap people in poverty through their e?ects on worker productivity, and can even destabilize communities, leading to con?ict (11). Because many of the poorest countries in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as Bangladesh and Indonesia, are Muslim-majority countries, the OIC nations were found to account for a disproportionate share of the worlds high-prevalence NTDs (10). For example, up to 40 or more of the worlds helminth infections (including schistosomiasis and intestinal helminth in- fections such as ascariasis and hookworm) can be found in OIC countries, together with approximately one-?fth of the cases of leprosy and trachoma (10). Thus, NTDs could represent a potent force for poverty and unrest in the Islamic world. Based on such ?ndings, I called for greater U.S. scienti?c cooperation with the Islamic world through joint e?orts in NTD control and elimina- tion (11–13). In parallel, the Honorable Kerri-Ann Jones, Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environmental and Scienti?c A?airs at the U.S. Department of State called for stepped up interventions for HIV/AIDS and pandemic in?uenza (14). Outside sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, in our previous study, the Middle East and North Africa were also found to exhibit an Page 16 »Across the Divide »Hotez / England & Desmond / Madani / Asghar </p> <UL><LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/643/colfslwvw/1/1/">Front-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/643/colfslwvw/2/2/">Inside-Front-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/643/colfslwvw/3/3/">Page-1</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/643/colfslwvw/4/4/">Page-2</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/643/colfslwvw/5/5/">Page-3</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/643/colfslwvw/6/6/">Page-4</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/643/colfslwvw/7/7/">Page-5</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/643/colfslwvw/8/8/">Page-6</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/643/colfslwvw/9/9/">Page-7</a></LI> <LI><a 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