'Sanitation, hygiene requirements schools must uphold – Ministry of Education' 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.


Lessons from the successful elimination of trachoma in Togo

Karina Mondragon-Shem, BugBitten

Despite being preventable and treatable, trachoma persists as a public health concern due to inadequate access to clean water, sanitation, and healthcare services in affected regions. Comprehensive strategies, including the WHO’s SAFE approach (Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness, and Environmental improvement), are essential to combat this NTD. The disease has a wide distribution, disproportionately affecting the African Region, where 116 million people are estimated to be at risk. In addition to the terrible effects on the health of patients, trachoma also carries a heavy financial burden on individuals and their families as they are unable to work.

Fortunately, progress in disease control continues to be made, and just last year Togo became the third African country to be validated by the WHO for its elimination of trachoma as a public health problem.

Rates of preventable blindness have halved but to beat trachoma we need better housing, experts say

Alison Branley, ABC News (Australia)

For decades, trachoma — a disease eliminated everywhere else in the developed world — was stealing the sight of Indigenous people in remote Australia.

A combination of substandard housing and dusty conditions were contributing to the spread of childhood eye infections with a type of bacteria circulating in some communities.

Over time, it led to scarring and eventually eyelids would turn inwards, rub on the cornea and by mid-life this would lead to blindness.

Federal plans to tackle the issue came and went, but trachoma was still a major problem.


Sanitation, hygiene requirements schools must uphold – Ministry of Education

Lindwe Danflow, The Star (Kenya)

The Ministry of Education has put in place policies that national schools are required to meet to ensure learners stay in a clean environment and prevent mass infections.

The National School Health Policy enacted in 2009 states that a healthy and hygienic school environment is actualized by safe, adequate water supply, adequate sanitation, and appropriate hygiene promotion.

The health benefits of safe and adequate water, improved sanitation and hygiene are broad in scope, ranging from reductions in diarrhoea, intestinal worms, ectoparasites, infections, and trachoma.


Request for Proposals


Seeking a manufacturing and commercialization partner for an antigen-based rapid diagnostic test for schistosomiasis infection with a focus in low- and middle-income countries.

Quantifiable and Qualifiable Success: Inaugural COR-NTD Meeting for the Pacific Islands


On August 31, 2023, COR-NTD co-hosted the Inaugural Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases Meeting for the Pacific Islands with the University of Queensland and the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine in Sydney, Australia. While COR-NTD meetings have occurred in other parts of the globe, it is often challenging for members of the Western Pacific to participate due to travel and time zone restraints. This was the first in-person meeting in the region. 

Ghanaian medical anthropologist Prof Margaret Gyapong is co-elected president of RSTMH

Abubakar Ibrahim, My Joy Online

Ghanaian medical anthropologist Professor Gyapong has been co-elected as the president of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (RSTMH). 

The Director of the Institute of Health Research and Coordinator of the Centre for Health Policy and Implementation Research at the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) shares the presidency with Dr. Wendy Harrison.

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