The viability of utilising phone-based text messages in data capture 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: An Ethiopian girl filters drinking water to prevent Guinea worm disease. (Photo credit: The Carter Center)

Lymphatic filariasis

The viability of utilising phone-based text messages in data capture and reporting morbidities due to lymphatic Filariasis by community health workers: a qualitative study in Kilwa district, Tanzania

Akili Kalinga et al., BMC Health Services Research

Mobile phone-based text messages have proven to be effective in routine workflows such as, data collection and reporting on Lymphatic Filariasis morbidity cases, patient to provider communication, decision making and supportive supervision. Mobile phones have also improved efficiency and general performance of end users in terms of increased number of cases identified and efficiency gained in terms of reduced paper work and the ability to collect and report in real-time.

Bacterial diversity significantly reduces toward the late stages among filarial lymphedema patients in the Ahanta West District of Ghana: A cross-sectional study

Samuel O. Asiedu et al., Health Science Reports

The present study reveals a sharp decline in bacterial load at the late stages of filarial lymphedema patients. In addition, we report an emerging antimicrobial resistance trend of S. haemolyticus and E. coli against commonly used antibiotics such as tetracycline, chloramphenicol, and penicillin in communities endemic for LF in the Ahanta West District, Ghana.

Cameroon and the Mectizan Donation Program sign historic agreement to end neglected tropical diseases

Yahoo News

A new agreement has been jointly signed by the Ministry of Public Health in Cameroon and the Mectizan Donation Program (MDP) to renew their commitment to strengthen the partnership to accelerate elimination of onchocerciasis (river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis (LF) in the country.

Effect of a Community-Based Holistic Care Package on Physical and Psychosocial Outcomes in People with Lower Limb Disorder Caused by Lymphatic Filariasis, Podoconiosis, and Leprosy in Ethiopia: Results from the EnDPoINT Pilot Cohort Study

Rachael Dellar et al., The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

This study thus suggests that the EnDPoINT care package is highly effective in reducing morbidity in people living with LF, podoconiosis, and leprosy in northern Ethiopia.


A mixed-methods exploration into the resilience of community drug distributors conducting mass drug administration for preventive chemotherapy of lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis in Côte d’Ivoire and Uganda

Daniel Dilliott et al., PLOS Global Public Health

Community support during MDA and positive community-CDD relationships appear to be associated with CDDs’ personal capacity to overcome adversity. Involving communities and community leadership in the selection and support of CDDs has the potential to benefit their well-being. This study establishes the CD-RISC-25 as a useful tool for assessing the resilience of CDDs. 

Prospects for developing efficient targets for the xenomonitoring and control of Simulium damnosum s.l., the major vectors of onchocerciasis in Africa

Lassane Koala et al., Medical and Veterinary Entomology

Overall, results suggested that sticky black targets of horizontal rectangular shape (0.125–0.5 m2) and baited with a POCA and/or CO2 mixture could provide a cheap practical field alternative to HLC for onchocerciasis xenomonitoring, subject to confirmation that the design has no inherent bias for certain members of the S. damnosum species complex.


Mapping of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiases across 15 provinces of Angola

Elsa Palma Mendes et al., PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

This mapping exercise provides essential information to Ministry of Health in Angola to accurately plan and implement SCH and STH control activities in the upcoming years. Data also provides a useful baseline contribution for Angola to track its progress towards the 2030 NTD roadmap targets set by WHO.

Urogenital schistosomiasis prevalence, knowledge, practices and compliance to MDA among school-age children in an endemic district, southern East Tanzania

Lilian C. Nazareth et al., Parasite Epidemiology and Control

Despite high MDA compliance, urogenital schistosomiasis is still prevalent among primary school children in Masasi District. 

Adolescents and young adults excluded from preventive chemotherapy for schistosomiasis control in Northern Tanzania: are they at risk and reservoirs of infection? Prevalence and determinants of transmission in Northern Tanzania

Leah S. Maseke et al., IJID Regions
  • Urogenital schistosomiasis is endemic in Northern Tanzania.
  • The overall prevalence of urogenital schistosomiasis was moderate.
  • Infected adolescents and young adults are the S. haematobium reservoirs.
  • The majority of the infected participants had light-intensity infection.
  • Extension of preventive chemotherapy among adolescents and young adults is crucial.

United in the desire to make a new pediatric treatment available for schistosomiasis

Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium

The Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium's access program, ADOPT, aims to introduce the potential new pediatric drug into routine practice in endemic countries once registered. Peter Steinmann from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and Jennifer Burrill from the SCI Foundation, who are co-leading the ADOPT program, reflect on the milestones of the past year.

Determining the optimal strategies to achieve elimination of transmission for Schistosoma mansoni

Klodeta Kura, BugBitten

Using two individual-based stochastic models, developed independently by the Imperial College London (ICL) and University of Oxford (SCHISTOX), and data from two different age-intensity profiles of infection prevalence and intensity, we determine the optimal treatment strategies to achieve elimination of transmission for Schistosoma mansoni.

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Edo, Centre strengthen advocacy on treatment, prevention of NTD

The Nigerian Observer

Representative of the Executive Secretary, Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (EDSPHCDA) and the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics Dr. Aimua Ehijele, said this during an advocacy visit to the Head of Local Government Administration (HOLGA) Oredo Local Government Area, Mr Kessington Osifo. He said the state government through the Ministry of Health will continue to intensify efforts to ensure a smooth distribution of deworming medicines, Mebendazole and Albendazole for the treatment and prevention of NTD among children aged 5 to 14 years in Edo State. According to him, the visit was carried out to intimate he HOLGA [Head of Local Government Administration] on the intention to transition deworming programme of the Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) and ensure government ownership so that the deworming treatment for all enrolled school-age children between the ages of 5 to 14 years will be implemented through a coordinated approach called School-Based Deworming Mass Administration of Medicines.


Goal of eliminating eye disease trachoma by 2025 under threat as pandemic bites

Jack Snape, ABC News (Australia)

We're trying to focus on actually showing that we can do things to make an impact, because that will get the ball rolling and others will start to do more out here.

Government rolls out trachoma vaccination campaign

Prince Machaya, Zim Live (Zimbabwe)

Government has launched a mass vaccination drive against trachoma in some parts of the country, aimed at eliminating preventable blindness among communities.“ A ten-day mass treatment campaign will run in the districts of Shamva, Bindura, Rushinga, Binga, Marondera, Nyanga, Mutasa and Gweru beginning on the 11th July of 2022 to the 20th of July 2022.

Mass drug administration of antibacterials: weighing the evidence regarding benefits and risks

Robert J. Rolfe, Hassaan Shaikh and L. Gayani Tillekeratne, Infectious Diseases of Poverty

Evidence shows that MDA-azithromycin programs may be beneficial for reducing trachoma, yaws, and mortality in children < 5 years of age in certain under-resourced settings. However, there are significant potential risks that need to be considered when deciding how, when, and where to implement these programs. Robust systems to monitor benefits as well as adverse effects and antibacterial resistance are warranted in communities where MDA-azithromycin programs are implemented.


Landscape analysis of NTD diagnostics and considerations on the development of a strategy for regulatory pathways

Hye Lynn Choi et al., PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

In attempting to address such challenges, a landscape analysis of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) diagnostics was conducted to provide insights for all stakeholders to support a future regulatory framework for NTD diagnostics. The inventory of commercially available diagnostics was compiled and analyzed and the global need and size of the market for each type of diagnostic was estimated. 

Multiplex peptide microarray profiling of antibody reactivity against neglected tropical diseases derived B-cell epitopes for serodiagnosis in Zimbabwe

Arthur Vengesai et al., PLOS One

Multiplex peptide microarrays are a valuable tool for integrated NTDs surveillance and for screening parasites exposure in endemic areas. Species sero-reactivity observed in the study maybe indicative of exposure to the different NTDs parasites. However, although peptides with the least cross reactivity were selected there is need to validate the sero-reactivity with recombinant antigens and immune-blotting techniques such as western blotting.


GIS data to draw up risk assessment maps for dengue and chikungunya

Anonna Dutt, The Indian Express

Such models reduce the need for conducting surveys that are man-power intensive, says Dr S Sabesan, adjunct professor at the Vector Control Research Centre.

Health work and skills in the last mile of disease elimination. Experiences from sleeping sickness health workers in South Sudan and DR Congo

Jean-Benoît Falisse et al., Global Public Health

To avoid repeating the mistakes of the 1960s, when elimination also seemed close at hand, we need to recognise that the ‘last mile’ of elimination hinges on protecting the fragile expertise of frontline health workers.

Scaling up of tsetse control to eliminate Gambian sleeping sickness in northern Uganda

Andrew Hope et al., PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Scaling-up of tsetse control reduced the population of tsetse by >80% across the intervention area. Even better control might be achievable by tackling invasion of flies from infested areas within and outside the current intervention area. This might involve deploying more targets, especially along smaller rivers, and extending the effective life of Tiny Targets.

iCHORDS Mentorship Program


The iCHORDS mentorship program aims to provide opportunities for the mentorship of early career researchers, students, and young professionals in the field of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and social and behavioural sciences – supporting the development of the next generation of NTD professionals. iCHORDS will do this by connecting mentees with experienced mentors in the field of NTDs, integrating various academic and professional institutions from around the world. The program is now running a 4-month pilot program and is seeking applications from both mentors and mentees to join the first cohort which will run from September through December 2022. We hope to pilot this with about 5 pairs.

Guinea Worm Cases Reach Historic Low

The Carter Center

Just 15 human cases of Guinea worm disease were reported in four countries in 2021, the lowest number ever recorded. When The Carter Center started leading the global eradication campaign in 1986, there were an estimated 3.5 million cases in 21 countries. . . “Eradication is an approaching reality,” Carter Center CEO Paige Alexander said. 

GHIT Fund Hit-to-Lead Platform (HTLP) Request for Proposals


The goal and key requirement of the Hit-to-Lead Platform is to convert drug hits derived from Japanese compound libraries into lead series through a comprehensive assessment of chemical integrity, synthetic accessibility, scalability and novelty, functional behavior, and structure-activity relationships (SAR), as well as bio-physiochemical and absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) properties. Interested applicants must complete the GHIT-RFP-HTLP-2022-002_IntentToApply.docx document and return it by email to by 10:00am Tokyo time on August 31, 2022 (use email subject line: GHIT-RFP-HTLP-2022-002_Intent to Apply).


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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