'MOH conducts post elimination survey on elephantiasis' 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.
Kenya has sustained renewed efforts towards ensuring that elephantiasis is eliminated in the next two years. The Ministry of Health is currently conducting a post-elimination surveillance survey of the disease scientifically known as Lymphatic Filariasis (LF).
The second leading cause of infectious blindness worldwide is transmitted by the bite of female simulium flies infected by Onchocerca volvulus parasites. The disease is known as onchocerciasis, or river blindness. The WHO Road map on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), 2021–2030,1 identified onchocerciasis as one of the diseases targeted for elimination. The targets to be reached by 2030 are to eliminate the need for mass drug administration (MDA) of ivermectin in at least 1 focus in 34 countries, in more than 50% of the population in at least 16 countries, and in the entire endemic population in at least 12 countries.
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) is undertaking an exercise to deworm over 3,223,502 school-aged children between five and 14 years in 116 districts spread across 15 regions of the country. The deworming exercise, which began last Monday and is expected to end on Friday, will administer the children with Praziquantel and Albendazole.
It is aimed at eliminating schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted Helminth Infestations (STH), both parasitic worm infestations. Schistosomiasis is a disease caused by parasitic worms that live in freshwater. The worm infestation is prevalent in Ghana and it is more common in children who are in poverty-stricken areas due to poor sanitation and hygiene. It is potentially dangerous with numerous health implications.
Prototype for improved detection of STH parasites: ‘First’ institute-to-industry tech transfer in the state
In what is said to be the first such instance of an institute-to-industry technology transfer in the state, the Gujarat Technological University (GTU) shared a prototype for the detection of parasitic intestinal worms soil-transmitted helminths (STH) with a startup by an Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) alumni.
“This is the first technology transfer from an institute to industry in Gujarat. So we have framed our own policy on the IIT model. We have decided to review all our existing patents… nearly 20 registered in the last three years for the technology transfer. This will not only help the researchers and the institute but also society at large as rather than just holding the patents, these can be mass-scaled and used by the public,” GTU Vice Chancellor Prof Rajul Gajjar told The Indian Express.
Non-government organisations have raised the red flag over trachoma, saying the disease remains a big threat in four counties, despite numerous efforts to eradicate it. Speaking during a consultative forum yesterday, Samuel Eshitemi, a technical manager with Sights Savers said the disease has remained a problem in the four counties — Narok, Baringo, Turkana and Kajiado — mainly because of cultural practices. Trachoma, which according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), is among the 20 Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD), and is the primary infectious cause of blindness worldwide, is no longer prevalent in West Pokot County.
Feasibility and safety of integrating mass drug administration for helminth control with seasonal malaria chemoprevention among Senegalese children: a randomized controlled, observer-blind trial
The overlap in the epidemiology of malaria and helminths has been identified as a potential area to exploit for the development of an integrated control strategy that may help to achieve elimination of malaria and helminths. A randomized, controlled, observer-blind trial was conducted to assess the feasibility and safety of combining mass drug administration (MDA) for schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminths (STH) with seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) among children living in Senegal.
Health and Child Care permanent secretary Aspect Maunganidze has said Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) have a devastating effect on communities. While addressing journalists during a sensitization workshop on NTDs, organised by Higher Life Foundation and the Ministry of Health and Child Care on Tuesday, Maunganidze said his ministry was committed to tackle the diseases despite challenges.
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