Giving back to society
Hugo Sigman supports Mundo Sano, a nonprofit organization dedicated to research, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affecting the most vulnerable social sectors. There are 17 diseases in the world classified as NTDs. They are the diseases of poverty, the ones no-one wishes to talk about. There is no interest in investing in medicines to treat these diseases, as they are hard to afford. They can only be addressed through health systems or donations.
In 1993 Mundo Sano was established to address this issue. Founded by Roberto Gold, Ph.D., it is nowchaired by his daughter, Silvia Gold. It receives financing from the companies that are part of Grupo Insud and other national and international organizations.
The goal of Mundo Sano is to develop and manage public-private collaboration and intervention models to integrate scientific research and social development, enabling technology transfer to the affected communities.
Hugo Sigman and Silvia Gold celebrating Mundo Sano’s 20th anniversary.
Silvia Gold commented, “We collaborate with the governmental and academic sectors, but we are facilitators, enablers. We have a goal and try to achieve effective and actionable results, with scientific rigor, for practical purposes. We are not moved by an assistentialist vocation. We believe a lot in collaboration, without seeking a protagonist role. We are perseverant with the final goal.”
After intense work and convinced of the importance of articulation between companies and the State to generate synergy and a positive impact on communities, Hugo Sigman and his wife were the creators of a project that today is a reality. Due to a world crisis in the production of benznidazole – the main drug to treat Chagas disease, affecting approximately 10 million people- in 2011 Mundo Sano, Elea, Maprimed and the Ministry of Health of Argentina formed a public-private partnership to produce the drug locally. Thanks to this partnership, Argentina became the only producer of this medicine and supplier for the Pan-American Health Organization, charged with distributing it to the countries in the region.
Silvia Gold and Hugo Sigman with Bill Gates and Julie Jacobson from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Margaret Chan from the World Health Organization, and other representatives of the global partnerships aimed to coordinate efforts to accelerate control and eradication of ten neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), in support of the World Health Organization (WHO) roadmap and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for 2020.