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.
Dr. Malecela (right) with a drug distributor on Mafia Island in Tanzania. Dr. Malecela's extraordinary ability to connect to the community is a huge reason for the success of Tanzania's lymphatic filariasis elimination program which she led. Photo credit: Charles Mackenzie
Odisha government will start one more round of mass drug administration (MDA) in two phases for eradication of filaria in the State.
The Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance, Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APLMA-APMEN) and the Global Institute for Disease Elimination (GLIDE) have today announced a new partnership to support Governments to help drive the elimination of malaria and lymphatic filariasis (LF) in Papua New Guinea (PNG), and malaria elimination in Indonesia and Timor-Leste via innovative cross-disease and cross-border approaches.
Abs could provide earlier signals of resurgence and enable a timelier response. The promising role of Abs in post-mass drug administration (MDA) surveillance and decision making should be further investigated in other settings.
Onchocerciasis impacted negatively on HRQoL [health-related quality of life] of persons with onchocerciasis when compared with the healthy population. The quality of life of persons affected with onchocerciasis reduces with increasing disability. There is the need to increase community awareness on onchocerciasis to ensure early diagnosis and prompt treatment as this will reduce disability among those affected with the disease thus enhancing their HRQoL.
It is evidenced that long-term CDTi [community-directed treatment with ivermectin] for onchocerciasis control and elimination had additional benefits by reducing the prevalence of STH infections specifically of A. lumbricoides and hookworm, but had no impact on infections with T. trichuria. Our finding of additional health benefits of large-scale ivermectin administration taking it will aid to increase positive engagement and sustain participation of communities during MDA campaigns, and strengthen governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) support for the undergoing national onchocerciasis elimination program.
In this paper, we employ two individual-based stochastic models of schistosomiasis transmission developed independently by the Imperial College London (ICL) and University of Oxford (SCHISTOX) to determine the optimal treatment strategies to achieve EOT [elimination of transmission]. We find that treating school-age children (SAC) only is not sufficient to achieve EOT within a feasible time frame, regardless of the transmission setting and observed age–intensity of infection profile. Both models show that community-wide treatment is necessary to interrupt transmission in all endemic settings with low, medium and high pristine transmission intensities.
This new project aims to develop new ways to speed up the preclinical drug discovery process and to progress some chemical start points to identify compounds with potential to treat the disease. It brings together scientists from the Drug Discovery Unit at the University of Dundee, the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Cardiff University and parasitologists from Aberystwyth University.
Our predictive risk maps and estimated PC [preventive chemotherapy] needs provide useful information for the elimination of STH, either for resource acquisition or identifying priority areas for delivery of interventions in Ogun State, Nigeria.
With Nigeria having the highest burden of tropical diseases in Africa, Nebe said massive deworming exercise has been initiated in the country, stating that deworming can improve children’s school participation, growth, and nutritional intake.
The prevalence of STH infection is incredibly high in this age group that was for a long time considered as less important when it comes to burden due to STH. Therefore, there is a need to include them into future plans for control interventions.
Success in Gambia took many years to achieve and was only made possible with strong community participation, national leadership, and long-term commitments and investments from global partners. Global efforts, according to the WHO, dramatically reduced the number of people at risk of blindness from trachoma from 1.5 billion in 2002 to less than 137 million in May 2020—a 91 percent decrease. Additional African countries including Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, and Togo, are also nearing elimination.
The Task Force for Global Health extends its condolences to the loved ones of Dr. Mwele Malecela, the public health community, and all who called this fierce public health advocate a mentor, friend and colleague. . .As the World Health Organization’s Director of NTDs, Director of National Medical Research Institute in Tanzania, and champion of the 2030 NTD Roadmap that sets the path to alleviate suffering for one billion people from these devastating diseases, Dr. Malecela became one of the 100 most influential women in Africa according to Avance Media. . . We are truly saddened by her passing and will miss her presence every day. The NTD community will not be the same without her visionary leadership, sense of humor and unfailing patience, but we will never forget her legacy.
In honor of World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day, Tanzania has launched a new Master Plan and Sustainability Plan for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), reaching another important milestone in its progress to control and eliminate these diseases.
The Kigali Declaration on NTDs will be the successor to the ground-breaking London Declaration on NTDs that was launch in 2012 and expired in 2020.
Fabian Ndenzako, the country director of the World health Organization in South Sudan said out of 20 neglected tropical diseases worldwide, 17 of them are prevalent in South Sudan. Speaking during the Sunday event, South Sudan Minister of Health Elizabeth Achuei said, "I am very confident that the fight against neglected tropical diseases in South Sudan has taken a positive momentum, given the strong qualitative data the health ministry has with its partner.”
Dr. Sultani Matendechero, Head Kenya National Public Health Institute/ Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (NPHI/CDC), said besides the seven sub-counties where elimination had been confirmed, eleven have passed pre-transmission. “I can assure you when we go for a transmission assessment, we will pass in all of them bringing the total number to 18. We only need to do one round of MDA and we are done,” he said. Dr. Matendechero attributed the success of the treatment uptake to intensive advocacy and community engagement on the disease, noting that on annual basis, over a period of five years, intensive campaigns and mass treatment were being carried out in the endemic areas.
Dr. Patrick Kuma Aboagye, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has appealed to the government and global leaders to invest heavily in fighting Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
For Eisai, it was the first attempt for Eisai to send its employees as volunteer lecturers to give SDGs related lessons provided primarily for children.
Researchers at LSTM have been awarded £2.6 million from National Institute for Health Research (NIHR(link is external)(opens in a new tab)) to establish a research group on controlling vector borne diseases in emerging agricultural systems in Malawi. The group is a research collaboration between LSTM, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHeS(link is external)(opens in a new tab)), Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Clinical Research Programme (MLW(link is external)(opens in a new tab)) and African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP(link is external)(opens in a new tab)).
This study showed that there was significant burden of podoconiosis in the study area. Wealth index, times when individual do not wear shoes, number of shoes owned, soap utilization during foot washing, and family history of leg swelling were significantly associated with podoconiosis.
The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Early Career Grants Programme 2022 is open for applications from early career researchers and global health professionals based anywhere in the world, who have not had research funding in their own name before.
One dose of an anti-parasite drug was just as effective as two at significantly reducing the spread of scabies, the contagious, intensely itchy skin condition, according to a new study.
NOTE - Events may be postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check with event organizers to confirm events.
Launch: WHO guideline on control and elimination of human schistosomiasis
February 15, 2022
World Health Organization
Challenges of expanding access to health products in the fight against NTDs; Session 6 – "Nudging the Industry (2): Patent as a Barrier or Leverage?"
February 17, 2022
Japan Alliance on Global NTDs
2022 Annual Meeting -Save the date
October 30-November 3, 2022
American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene