Investing in justice: ethics, evidence, and the eradication investment cases for lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis

Am J Public Health. 2015 Apr;105(4):629-36. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302454. Epub 2015 Feb 25.


It has been suggested that initiatives to eradicate specific communicable diseases need to be informed by eradication investment cases to assess the feasibility, costs, and consequences of eradication compared with elimination or control. A methodological challenge of eradication investment cases is how to account for the ethical importance of the benefits, burdens, and distributions thereof that are salient in people's experiences of the diseases and related interventions but are not assessed in traditional approaches to health and economic evaluation. We have offered a method of ethical analysis grounded in theories of social justice. We have described the method and its philosophical rationale and illustrated its use in application to eradication investment cases for lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis, 2 neglected tropical diseases that are candidates for eradication.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Disease Eradication / economics
  • Disease Eradication / methods*
  • Elephantiasis, Filarial / epidemiology
  • Elephantiasis, Filarial / prevention & control*
  • Ethical Analysis
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Humans
  • Onchocerciasis / epidemiology
  • Onchocerciasis / prevention & control*
  • Public Health Surveillance
  • Social Justice*