Remembering NTD Visionary Dr. Mwele Malecela 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.

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

Lymphatic filariasis

Eradication of filaria: MDA to resume in State from today

The New Indian Express

Odisha government will start one more round of mass drug administration (MDA) in two phases for eradication of filaria in the State.

GLIDE and APLMA Launch New Partnership to End Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Global Institute for Disease Elimination

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.

Potential use of antibodies to provide an earlier indication ...

Angela M. Cadavid Restrepo et al., International Journal of Infectious Diseases

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

Health-related quality of life and associated factors ...

Adah E. Otache et al., PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

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.

Impact of ivermectin mass drug administration on burden ...

Gebremedhin Gebrezgabiher, Delenasaw Yewhalaw, Mio Ayana, Asrat Hailu and Zeleke Mekonnen, PLOS One

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 Alumbricoides and hookworm, but had no impact on infections with Ttrichuria. 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.

Schistosomiasis

Determining the optimal strategies to achieve elimination ...

Klodeta Kura, Diepreye Ayabina, T. Deirdre Hollingsworth and Roy M. Anderson, Parasites & Vectors

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.

Aber academics join bid to eradicate killer infection

Chris Betteley, Cambrian News

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.

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Estimating the population at risk with soil transmitted helminthiasis ...

Hammed Oladeji Mogaji et al., Scientific Reports

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.

The Silent War Against Tropical Diseases And Importance ...

Patience Ivie Ihejirika, Leadership (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.

Prevalence of soil-transmitted helminth infection among children ...

Olufunmilayo A. Idowu, Ayodele S. Babalola and T. Olapegba, Egyptian Pediatric Association Gazette

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.

Trachoma

Eliminating Blindness from Trachoma Is in Sight

Agatha Aboe and Niesha Foster, Think Global Health

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.

Cross-cutting

TFGH Statement on the Passing of NTD Visionary Dr. Mwele Malecela

The Task Force for Global Health

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.

Tanzania Launches New Master Plan And Sustainability Plan ...

Act to End Neglected Tropical Diseases | East

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.

Global Leaders Unite to pledge commitments to ending Neglected Tropical Diseases by 2030

ANI (India)

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.

17 out of 20 world neglected tropical diseases prevalent in SSD -WHO

Charles Wote, Eye Radio

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.”

Kenya to Eliminate Elephantiasis by 2026

Sharon Atieno, Science Africa

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.

Ghana Health Service urges government to back NTDs fight with investments

Ghana Business News

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).

Sending Messages to Children Who Will Be Responsible for Future ...

Eisai

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. 

LSTM secures £2.6m to explore and control vector borne diseases

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

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)).

Other

Prevalence of podoconiosis and its associated factors in Gamo zone ...

Tamiru Getachew and Chuchu Churko, Journal of Foot and Ankle Research

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.

RSTMH Early Careers Grants 2022 is now open for applications

Global Schistosomiasis Alliance

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.

Study paves the way for efficient one-dose strategy to reduce scabies prevalence

Emily Henderson, News Medical LifeSciences

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.

COVID-19

COVID-19 pandemic drains resources for neglected diseases

Vanita Srivastava, Nature

Huge cost of pandemic sees support dwindling for neglected medical conditions such as snakebite and elephantiasis.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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