Togo Eliminates Trachoma; Benin, Uganda, Rwanda Eliminate HAT; 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.

Photo: Benin, Uganda and Rwanda eliminate human African trypanosomiasis as a public health problem, World Health Organization; Credit: E. Chincarula Doctor outside the medical center of Bopa Benin West Africa

Lymphatic filariasis

NLR India hosted Dissemination Meeting to release findings of a study on Leprosy and Lymphatic Filariasis

ET Health World

The study consisted of a formative assessment and an intervention study conducted in Bokaro (Jharkhand) and Jaunpur (Uttar Pradesh) districts. . . The assessment sought answer to the level of effect of stigma on social participation and mental wellbeing among men and women affected by leprosy and LF.

A refined and updated health impact assessment of the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (2000–2020)

Hugo C. Turner, Eric A. Ottesen and Mark H. Bradley, Parasites & Vectors

Using the updated model and corresponding treatment data, we projected that the total benefit cohort of the GPELF (2000–2020) would consist of approximately 58.5 million individuals and the programme would avert 44.3 million chronic LF cases. Over the lifetime of the benefit cohorts, this corresponded to 244 million DALYs being averted. This study indicates that substantial health benefits have resulted from the first 20 years of the GPELF.

Gates Foundation awards $1.8 million to DOLF team for lymphatic filariasis elimination in Indonesia

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

The new study will explore four closely-linked objectives to address why LF has returned to the Belitung region. The DOLF team seeks to provide both the Indonesian Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization with valuable data to inform other elimination programs elsewhere in Indonesia as well as throughout South-East Asia.

Characterization of a novel microfilarial antigen for diagnosis of Wuchereria bancrofti infections

Sarah E. Greene et al., PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Wb-Bhp-1 is a novel antigen that is useful for serologic diagnosis of bancroftian filariasis. Additional studies are needed to assess the value of this antigen for monitoring the success of filariasis elimination programs.

Schistosomiasis

Researchers begin clinical trial to assess schistosomiasis vaccine

Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium (IDCRC) researchers are conducting a clinical trial to assess the safety and effectiveness of an investigational schistosomiasis vaccine. 

Review of 2022 WHO guidelines on the control and elimination of schistosomiasis

LSTM

The review, published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, was undertaken by multi-author team, the WHO 2018–2022 Schistosomiasis Guidelines Development Group, with several others who have made significant contributions to underlying systematic reviews. . . The WHO's six recommendations provide an updated public health strategy against schistosomiasis and the review highlights their actions as new anchor points to rally support across much needed multi-sectoral activities, while also discussing several future public health challenges such as the need to adopt a OneHealth approach. A key recommendation is an expansion in the eligibility of preventive chemotherapy to everyone, from aged two years and above. 

The parasitology of female genital schistosomiasis

Verner N.Orish et al., Current Research in Parasitology & Vector-Borne Diseases

A review of female genital schistosomiasis. Data on the life-cycle of S. haematobium, and pathogenesis and clinical features of female genital schistosomiasis. Summary of diagnostic methods and treatment, control and prevention of female genital schistosomiasis. Increasing awareness among healthcare workers is key to the management, control, and prevention of the disease.

Announcing USAID Grant Recipients for Development of New Diagnostics for Schistosomiasis Programs

COR-NTD

The Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announces the grant recipients of the 2022 Request for Proposals (RFP): New diagnostics for schistosomiasis monitoring and evaluation.

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Ending the neglect: eliminating worm infections as a public health problem in Somalia

World Health Organization EMRO

In line with the national action plan for Somalia, WHO and its partners, such as the ESPEN and END Fund, intend to support national health authorities to conduct mass drug administration campaigns with increased national coverage for schistosomiasis, including more than 75% of treatment coverage for school-aged children, to eliminate the disease as a public health problem by 2025. The campaigns will also treat soil-transmitted helminthiasis, including deworming coverage for at least 75% of eligible school-aged children and pre-school children by 2026.  

Trachoma

Togo eliminates trachoma as a public health problem

International Coalition for Trachoma Control

The World Health Organization has validated Togo for eliminating trachoma as a public health problem. Professor Moustafa Mijiyawa, Minister of Health, Togo was formally notified of validation by WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the 75th World Health Assembly in Geneva. 

Eye disease eliminated from The Gambia

Hilary Hurd, BugBitten

Monitoring and continuing surgeries will inevitably need to be continued.  However, using the WHO SAFE strategy for elimination of trachoma, The Gambia is to be congratulated in achieving its goal ahead of the new target for global elimination by 2030. The challenges it encountered are likely to be shared with other endemic countries and it is to be hoped that they can also be overcome to meet the global deadline.

Cross-cutting

The Long and Winding Road to Elimination

Lara Dahan, Global Institute for Disease Elimination

This blog is part of a new series from GLIDE, featuring personal reflections from the team – what they’ve learned, what they found interesting, and what they’re encouraged by as we work to consign preventable infectious diseases of poverty to the history books.

Incorporate NTD programme priorities into routine gov’t planning

News Ghana

Alhaji Mahama Asei Seini, the Deputy Minister of Health, encouraged the Committee to embark on intensive research to strengthen sustainable evidence based NTD programming for greater impact and broaden opportunities for domestic resource mobilisation. . . He said the Government was committed to country ownership and domestic funding of key interventions and programmes towards the control and elimination of NTDs.

Kenya: Govt to Spend Sh2.2 Billion in Fighting Neglected Tropical Diseases

Wendy Wangui, All Africa

The Ministry of Health will spend Sh2.2 billion in the next financial year to fight Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). Permanent Secretary Susan Mochache said Monday that funds will play a critical role in efforts to mitigate the effects of these diseases in the development and the scale-up of Universal Health Coverage(UHC).

Looking Bravely: Treating and eliminating diseases of poverty in Cameroon

Helen Keller Intl

We recently spoke with Patrick Mbia, Program Advisor for Neglected Tropical Diseases in Cameroon to discuss this life-saving effort.  The parasitic infections onchocerciasis [known as “river blindness”] and lymphatic filariasis [often called “elephantiasis”] are endemic in 10 districts of Cameroon. The bacterial infection trachoma remains endemic in two. Our team combats these diseases with yearly mass drug administration campaigns and health screenings. My job is making sure we have the information, skills, and tools to master all processes and deliver results on time. . . We’ve reached 8 million people with treatment for onchocerciasis. And the 16 million people we’ve treated for lymphatic filariasis are no longer at risk of the disease. Cameroon has also made significant progress toward eliminating trachoma. 

Innovation Driving Progress in the Control and Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases, Malaria, and Tuberculosis on the African Continent

Reliefweb

Every 25 May, the world commemorates #AfricaDay to celebrate the continent, its people, and its many successes. From a public health standpoint, the region continues to progress toward ending Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), malaria, and tuberculosis, with a helping hand from the African research and innovation ecosystem.

WHO urges for proactive measures to eliminate neglected tropical diseases in Africa

Xinhua

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday urged African governments to come up with targeted interventions aimed at reducing the burden of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in the continent. . . She noted that Kenya's universal health coverage insurance covers case management of NTDs mediated manifestations of chronic disease.

Awareness underway on neglected tropical diseases in ENB

The National ( Papua New Guinea.)

A TEAM from the World Health Organisation (WHO) is in East New Britain to roll out awareness on neglected tropical diseases (NTD).

Other

Benin, Uganda and Rwanda eliminate human African trypanosomiasis as a public health problem

World Health Organization

Three countries – Benin, Uganda and Rwanda – have now received validation from the World Health Organization (WHO) that at least one form of HAT has been eliminated as a public health problem in their lands. Uganda is the only country where both forms are endemic but has now achieved elimination as a public health problem of the gambiense form. 

Target product profile for a gambiense human African trypanosomiasis

World Health Organization

Target product profile for a gambiense human African trypanosomiasis test to identify individuals to receive widened treatment

Monitoring the elimination of gambiense human African trypanosomiasis in the historical focus of Batié, South–West Burkina Faso

Charlie Franck Alfred Compaoré et al., Parasite

Our results suggest that T. b. gambiense is no longer circulating in the study area and that zero transmission has probably been attained. While a least cost analysis is still required, our study showed that RDT preselection followed by trypanolysis may be a useful strategy for post-elimination surveillance in Burkina Faso.

WHA75: Nigeria seeks Noma’s inclusion on neglected tropical diseases’ list

Mariam Ileyemi, Premium Times Nigeria

Nigeria, on Tuesday, at the 75th World Health Assembly, sought the addition of Noma disease, otherwise known as cancrum-oris, to the World Health Organisation’s list of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD).

Is noma a neglected/overlooked tropical disease?

Liviu Feller, Johan Lemmer and Razia Abdool Gafaar Khammissa, Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

We therefore suggest a simpler, more practical and scientifically valid two-stage classification comprising only (1) acute noma and (2) arrested noma. . . . We strongly support the inclusion of noma within the WHO list of NTDs. 

TDR Postgraduate Scholarship in Implementation Research Academic Year 2022

TDR

SD Gupta School of Public Health, IIHMR University, Jaipur, India is pleased to announce the Call for Applications for the award of TDR Postgraduate Training Scholarships for a two-year Master of Public Health (MPH) postgraduate program with specialization in Implementation Science, for the Academic session 2022-24, beginning in October 2022.

Indoor residual spraying for the control of visceral leishmaniasis: A systematic review

Claudia Faber et al., PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Effects of IRS on vector populations are positive, Deltamethrin and alpha-Cypermethrin reduce total sandfly counts by up to 95% for at least one month. DDT has been used in India only: whereas in the 1990s a good effect could be measured, this effect waned over time. Combinations of different interventions are not systematically researched, however showing some promising results, for example for the combination of IRS and Temephos. Constant monitoring of insecticide resistancies and quality delivery of IRS are confirmed as key issues for control programmes. No human transmission data are available to directly relate an effect of IRS on human transmission,–although by modelling studies an effect of IRS on human transmission can be demonstrated.

Use of benznidazole to treat chronic Chagas disease: An updated systematic review with a meta-analysis

Clara Crespillo-Andújar et al., PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Benznidazole should be recommended for CCD in children, though this is only based on serological response and a moderate grade of evidence, while in adults benznidazole efficacy remains uncertain. More data on clinical efficacy of benznidazole in CCD is needed in both children and adults.

Call for Innovations for Annual COR-NTD Meeting

Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases

If you have been involved with a new, recent development of a strategy, technology or tool with the potential to help NTD programs, we invite you to apply to showcase your innovation for the hundreds of researchers, donors and program implementers who will attend. The deadline to apply is June 22.

UPCOMING EVENTS

NOTE - Events may be postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check with event organizers to confirm events. 

Elimination of Leprosy: Initiatives in the Americas and Africa
June 7, 2022
Sasakawa Health Foundation

A strategic framework for the integrated control and management of skin NTDs – Launch webinar
June 8, 2022
World Health Organization

Diagnosis of schistosomiasis by CCA or CAA detecting lateral flow tests: Facts and challenges.
June 14, 2022
Global Schistosomiasis Alliance

Designing and Implementing Sustainable Behaviour Change Interventions
June 16, 2022
iCHORDS

47th Annual Topics in Infection
June 17, 2022
RSTMH, Barts Health and UKHSA

COR-NTD Research Review: Mental Health and Stigma
June 22, 2022
COR-NTD and NNN

Kigali Summit on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases
June 23, 2022
Government of Rwanda 

Worldleish7 (the international Congress on leishmaniasis)
Aug. 1-6, 2022

11th International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases (ICEID)
Aug. 7-10, 2022
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

2022 NNN Conference
Sept. 13-15, 2022
Neglected Tropical Disease NGO Network

2022 COR-NTD Annual Meeting
October 4-5, 2022
Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases

The 20th International Congress for Tropical Medicine and Malaria (ICTMM)
October 24 - 28, 2022
MESA Alliance 

2022 ASTMH Annual Meeting
October 30-November 3, 2022
American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene 

21st International Leprosy Congress 2022
November 8-10, 2022