Vanuatu Eliminates Trachoma 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 credit: Brent Stirton/Getty Images for ITI

Lymphatic filariasis

Ending filariasis and neglected tropical diseases

Teodoro B. Padilla, Business World (Philippines)

The WHO said that an estimated 7 million Filipinos from six provinces are still at risk of LF. This is why the DoH National Filariasis Elimination Program (NFEP) is conducting annual mass drug administration in these remaining provinces while the 40 provinces under elimination status are under continuous monitoring. In spite of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the DoH NFEP continued its mass drug administration campaign and delivery of routine services for LF. 


Digital technology a ‘game changer’ in African health care, Catholic expert says

Ngala Killian Chimtom, Crux

"The system is used for training, counting households, and for distributions,” he [Elijah Egwu] said. He explained that phones are distributed to teams of community health care workers, who are trained on the technology as well as relevant aspects of the campaign. “The health care workers are deployed to designated villages to collect and input comprehensive household information. The resulting data is then processed and used to determine what type of health care is most appropriate for each household,” he told Crux.


Defining elimination as a public health problem for schistosomiasis control programmes: beyond prevalence of heavy-intensity infections

Ryan E Wiegand et al., The Lancet Global Health

For schistosomiasis, the criterion for elimination as a public health problem (EPHP) is defined as less than 1% prevalence of heavy-intensity infections (ie, ≥50 Schistosoma haematobium eggs per 10 mL of urine or ≥400 Schistosoma mansoni eggs per g of stool). However, we believe the evidence supporting this definition of EPHP is inadequate and the shifting distribution of schistosomiasis morbidity towards more subtle, rather than severe, morbidity in the face of large-scale control programmes requires guidelines to be adapted. In this Viewpoint, we outline the need for more accurate measures to develop a robust evidence-based monitoring and evaluation framework for schistosomiasis.

Intestinal helminthiasis survey with emphasis on schistosomiasis in Koga irrigation scheme environs, northwest Ethiopia

Zemenu Tamir et al., PLOS One

Schistosoma mansoni infection of schoolchildren, findings of schistosome infected snails and establishment of mice infection confirm that transmission is taking place in the study areas. Hence, snail control and other measures such as provision of sanitary facilities and health education are recommended.

Female Genital Schistosomiasis as an Emerging Public Health Problem- Expert

Lizzy Carr, Ashe Daily (Nigeria)

A Public Health consultant with Gombe State University, Dr Ibrahim Rabiu has noted that female genital schistosomiasis is an emerging public health problem that affects women's and girls' endemic areas.

Circulating microRNAs as Biomarkers of Hepatic Fibrosis in Schistosomiasis Japonica Patients in the Philippines

Ian Kim B. Tabios et al., Diagnostics

These findings demonstrate the potential utility of serum miRNAs, particularly of miR-146a, as a supplementary tool for assessing hepatic fibrosis in chronic schistosomiasis japonica patients.

Parasite-detecting DNA biosensors offer new tool to tackle schistosomiasis

Genevieve Timmins, Imperial College London

Researchers have developed new DNA biosensors capable of rapidly detecting and differentiating between parasites that cause schistosomiasis.

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Soil-transmitted helminths and Schistosoma mansoni infections among primary school children at Ambasame primary school, North-West Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study

Daniel Getacher Feleke et al., BMC Pediatrics

This study revealed that the prevalence of intestinal helminths among Ambasame primary school children was relatively high.


Huge congratulations to #Vanuatu on eliminating #trachoma

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Twitter

Huge congratulations to #Vanuatu on eliminating #trachoma. This success demonstrates the strong commitment of health workers, communities and government to protecting their people and ensuring healthier lives for all.


Individual Risk Factors of Mycetoma Occurrence in Eastern Sennar Locality, Sennar State, Sudan: A Case-Control Study

Rowa Hassan et al., Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease

In conclusion, certain factors found to be associated with mycetoma in this study could inform a high index of suspicion for mycetoma diagnosis, which would improve early case detection. Other factors found to be associated could inform the development of an interventional program for mycetoma control in Sudan, including education on healthy farming practices and the risks of puncture wounds for individuals residing in endemic areas. However, this work was conducted in one endemic state, while mycetoma cases occur in all states of Sudan. Replicating this study over a wider area would give a fuller picture of the situation, providing the control program with more comprehensive information on the risk factors for the disease.

A phase-2, randomized, multicenter, placebo-controlled, proof-of-concept trial of oral fexinidazole in adults with chronic indeterminate Chagas disease

Faustino Torrico et al., Clinical Infectious Diseases

Further evaluation is needed to establish fexinidazole’s minimum effective dosage and risk-benefit relationship. Results suggest potential for effective treatment regimens of <10 days.

A Solicitation of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Contract Proposals (USA)

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are soliciting proposals from small business concerns that possess the research and development (R&D) expertise to conduct innovative research that will contribute toward NIH or CDC mission needs and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program objectives.

Local tips, global impact: community-driven measures as avenues of promoting inclusion in the control of neglected tropical diseases: a case study in Kenya

Elizabeth A. Ochola, Diana M. S. Karanja and Susan J. Elliott, Infectious Diseases of Poverty

Our research demonstrates the importance of human agency in encouraging new forms of participation leading to the co-production of inclusive and sustainable solutions against NTDs.


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