'Lao PDR reaches incredible milestone in mitigating neglected tropical diseases with elimination of lymphatic filariasis' and other NTD news

This news roundup is a collection of headlines and other items on neglected tropical diseases, and does not reflect the work or the views of the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases or the Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center.

Lymphatic filariasis

Lao PDR reaches incredible milestone in mitigating neglected tropical diseases with elimination of lymphatic filariasis

RTI International

RTI International, a nonprofit research institute and leading international development organization, joins the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), World Health Organization, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in celebrating Lao PDR’s achievement of eliminating lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem. 

WHO: Weekly epidemiological record

World Health Organization

Global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis: progress report, 2022

Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a preventable mosquito-borne infectious disease targeted for global elimination as a public health problem. Infection with one of the filarial parasites, Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi and B. timori, impairs the lymph vessels, where the worms nest, later manifesting as hydrocoele, lympheodema and elephantiasis, resulting in unnecessary physical and mental suffering. WHO established the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) to stop transmission of infection by mass drug administration (MDA) of anthelminthics and to alleviate the suffering of people affected by the disease through morbidity management and disability prevention (MMDP).


NIH researchers develop PCR assay for easier diagnosis of river blindness


Researchers at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) have developed a new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for the detection of Onchocerca volvulus, the parasite that causes onchocerciasis, known as river blindness, and are working to adapt it for easier field diagnosis of the disease.


Tackling the increasing sight problems in Uganda

Joan Salmon, Monitor (Uganda)

According to a Rapid Assessments of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) survey in Uganda, 0.4 percent of Ugandans (160,000 people) are blind, while moderate to severe visual impairment is at seven percent, an equivalence of 2.8 million people. Dr. Jackline Baboneraawo, an optometrist at Lapaire Glasses Uganda, says while visual problems continue to increase in Uganda, some of them are preventable.


Effectiveness of one and two doses of ivermectin mass drug administration in reducing the prevalence and intensity of soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections in Western Province, Solomon Islands: a cluster-randomised, before-after analysis

Brandon Le et al., The Lancet

Ivermectin mass drug administration (MDA) is effective for controlling onchocerciasis and scabies, with evidence supporting its role in some species of soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections. In the context of RISE, a cluster-randomised trial for scabies, this study evaluated the effectiveness of ivermectin MDA in reducing STH burden in the Western Province of Solomon Islands.

Our study highlights the long-term benefits of ivermectin MDA in reducing the burden of Strongyloides spp. and T. trichiura. STH control programs should leverage the geographical overlap of NTDs, existing drug distribution channels, and broad-spectrum agents.

PAHO gives new impetus to initiative to eliminate more than 30 communicable diseases

Antigua Observer

The Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) Elimination Initiative, which seeks to put an end to more than 30 communicable diseases and related conditions in Latin America and the Caribbean, received new impetus today at a session held on the sidelines of the 60th Directing Council of the regional public health institution. 


Dr. Gary Weil receives 2023 Kyelem Prize


At the annual meeting of the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD), the Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center announced Dr. Gary Weil as winner of the 2023 Kyelem Prize. The Kyelem Prize, given annually in honor of Dr. Dominique Kyelem, recognizes people in the neglected tropical disease (NTD) field who have been particularly effective in bringing together the research community with those who implement NTD control and elimination programs. Dr. Kyelem was known not only for his career achievements, but also for his positive approach to his work.  His fundamental optimism is one of Dr. Kyelem’s personal attributes that the selection committee used as criteria to select the awardee.  

FG tasked on disease control policy

Chinonso Alozie, Vanguard (Nigeria)

The Parasitology and Public Health Society of Nigeria, PPSN, has admitted 15 members into the College of Fellows as they called on the federal government to focus on the policy as well as funding on disease control in the country. 

They stated this at a three-day 47th Annual Conference and commemoration of its 50th anniversary held in Owerri, to honour the 15 members fellows. 

Call for nomination of experts ̶ WHO Diagnostic Technical Advisory Group (DTAG) for Neglected Tropical Diseases

World Health Organization

The Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases is soliciting nominations of experts with requisite background and experience to form part of its Diagnostic Technical Advisory Group (DTAG). 

Those interested should have demonstrated understanding of neglected tropical diseases, including current knowledge of the health systems and technologies used for their diagnosis.

DTAG member applications will be accepted until the closing date 20th November 2023.

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November 1-2, 2023
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November 7, 2023
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November 15, 2023
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