Kumasi, Ghana (February 21, 2019)

The second cohort of grantees of the African Researchers' Small Grants Program (SGP II) have been selected by the African Research Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ARNTD), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the UK Department for International Development (UK aid), and the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD). A total of 18 awardees from 10 countries were selected from a pool of more than 100 to receive support for research to address issues facing efforts to control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). This builds on from the inaugural batch of six (6) scientists that were funded for the maiden program (SGP I, from 2017-2018).

"We are pleased that the UK government has joined us in supporting these African researchers," said Emily Wainwright, Lead, Global Strategy, Neglected Tropical Diseases Division, USAID. "This combined commitment will allow the grantees to tackle neglected tropical diseases from multiple angles."

"Equity is a crucial component of our mandate," said Dirk Mueller, Senior Health Advisor for the Health Research Team for UK aid. “It is important for these researchers not only to explore tools for addressing neglected tropical diseases in their countries, but also strategies for reaching everyone with those tools.”

Through this collaboration, the selected projects focus on the NTDs amenable to mass drug administration: lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis, and trachoma. Together, those infections affect more than one billion people worldwide, and are of particular concern on the African continent. The African Researchers' Small Grants Program underlines the growing cadre of African expertise in health, and the grantees’ contributions will bring unique value to the fight against NTDs in their home countries as well as the African continent.

"I am proud to welcome the largest ever cadre of researchers to the African Researchers' Small Grants Program," said John Amuasi, Executive Director for ARNTD. "The SGP II grantees represent expertise both broad and deep that will advance their countries closer to a future free from neglected tropical diseases."

The selected awardees and their projects are:



Chinenye Afonne


Factors influencing uptake and delivery of preventive chemotherapy for helminthic neglected tropical diseases among selected hard-to-reach communities in Abia, South-Eastern Nigeria


Stella Kepha


Exploring the persistence of Trichuris trichiura infection in a high transmission setting



Yaw Asare Afrane


Optimizing surveillance and preventive treatment for control and elimination of NTDs in Ghana


Blahima Konaté

Burkina Faso

Access to treatment for neglected tropical diseases and nomadism in the Sahel of Burkina Faso: A group analysis with key stakeholders


Mekuria Asnakew Asfaw


Barriers, facilitators and solutions for equitable access to preventive chemotherapy (PCT) at South Omo, Southern Ethiopia


Alexander Kwarteng


Investigating mental health and disease-related stress among lymphatic filariasis patients in Ghana


Pelagie Mimonnou Boko


Evaluation of lymphatic filariasis treatment impact by the molecular xenomonitoring in five endemic districts under mass drug administration in Benin, West Africa


Shintouo Cabirou Mounchili


Serological characterization of Ov-17-IRP and Ov-MANE-1 antigens in view of developing an antigen capture test for human onchocerciasis


Kwadwo Kyeremeh Frempong


Field evaluation of newly developed urine dipstick for onchocerciasis diagnosis


Henri-Claude Moungui


Feasibility, effectiveness and acceptability of a data warehouse of five PCT NTDs into DHIS2 in Cameroon


Naa Adjeley Frempong


Assessing schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths (STH) infection in pregnant women: A basis for inclusion in routine antenatal care (ANC) screening


Jacques-Marie Ndong Ngomo


Risk of emergence of schistosomiasis in the communities of indigenous peoples 8 years after modification of their environment for rubber cultivation in North of Gabon 



Michael Frimpong


Field evaluation of a mobile laboratory suitcase employing real time recombinase polymerase amplification assay for the rapid detection of Schistosoma haematobium infection among school children



Arthur Kipkemoi Saitabau Ng'etich


Improving surveillance and response systems for neglected tropical diseases at the sub-national level in Kenya


Hikabasa Halwiindi


Systemic, community and individual level barriers in access to equitable and effective control of schistosomiasis in Zambia


Mesfin Sileshi


Investigating the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of neglected tropical disease program data into the national DHIS2 platform


Sekeleghe Kayuni


Assessment of male genital schistosomiasis (MGS) and co-infection with HIV among fishermen on the shores of Lake Malawi in Mangochi district


Nicholas Tendongfor 


Impact of health education on STH reinfection in indigenous communities in the East Region of Cameroon


Grants range from USD 10,000-25,000 and extend for 1 year. Support is provided by USAID and UK aid via the Coalition for Operational Research on NTDs to the African Research Network for NTDs.



The African Research Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ARNTD) is the only African-based network, spear-headed by Africans that does not exclusively focus on a single NTD or theme and is composed of individuals from a variety of disciplines across health, social, and management sciences, including policymakers. The ARNTD secretariat is based in Kumasi, Ghana, with membership spread across more than 30 African countries.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. Based in Washington, D.C., USAID extends help from the American people to achieve results for the poorest and most vulnerable around the world.  

The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty. DFID tackles the global challenges of our time including poverty and disease, mass migration, insecurity and conflict. This work is building a safer, healthier, more prosperous world for people in developing countries and in the UK too.

The Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD) includes researchers, program implementers, and their supporters with the shared goal of optimizing the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases. The COR-NTD secretariat is the Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center, a program at The Task Force for Global Health in Decatur, GA, USA.