West Africa tackles NTDs as Healthcare Expo opens Aug 23 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.

Lymphatic filariasis

Ghana breaks transmission of Lymphatic Filariases in 109 districts

Ghanna Business News

Ghana has broken transmission of Lymphatic Filariases infections commonly known as elephantiasis in 109 districts across the country, leaving only seven districts under the Mass Drug Administration (MDA) exercise. This means that lymphatic Filariases or elephantiasis is no longer a health threat in those districts or level of prevalence has reduced to a minimal level.


Drive to administer Bilharzia drugs in five counties

Erastus Mulwa, The Standard (Kenya)

Some 5.6 million residents in five counties will now benefit from free Bilharzia drugs administration. The exercise that was launched in Machakos on Wednesday targets residents in the home county, Kitui, Makueni, Meru, and Tharaka Nithi.


Monitoring transmission intensity of trachoma with serology

Christine Tedijanto, et al., Nature Communications

Trachoma is the leading infectious cause of blindness and has been targeted for elimination as a public health problem by 2030. Caused by repeated infections with the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, trachoma has historically been monitored via district-level estimates of clinical signs. However, clinical signs may not align well with transmission intensity, particularly after mass drug administration of azithromycin (MDA), and are prone to measurement error, especially as cases become rare. As a result, there has been growing interest in IgG antibody responses as an objective and easy-to-collect biomarker to inform control programs. Based on examples from other infectious diseases including malaria and SARS-CoV-2, use cases for trachoma serology may include monitoring population-level transmission to determine appropriate interventions, post-validation surveillance, opportunistic investigation of populations using blood collected for other purposes, and fine-scale geographic targeting of control measures.


Burden of disease attributable to unsafe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene in domestic settings: a global analysis for selected adverse health outcomes

Jennyfer Wolf, et al., The Lancet

Assessments of disease burden are important to inform national, regional, and global strategies and to guide investment. We aimed to estimate the drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)-attributable burden of disease for diarrhoea, acute respiratory infections, undernutrition, and soil-transmitted helminthiasis, using the WASH service levels used to monitor the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as counterfactual minimum risk-exposure levels.


West Africa tackles NTDs as Healthcare Expo opens Aug 23

Sola Ogundipe, Vanguard

Towards addressing the menace of Neglected Tropical Diseases, NTDs, within the West African sub-region, government officials, healthcare professionals, drug manufacturers, scientists, pharmaceutical experts, and other key players in the Nigerian healthcare industry are set to gather at the West African Healthcare Expo 2023.

The current landscape of software tools for the climate-sensitive infectious disease modelling community

Sadie J Ryan, et al., The Lancet

Climate-sensitive infectious disease modelling is crucial for public health planning and is underpinned by a complex network of software tools. We identified only 37 tools that incorporated both climate inputs and epidemiological information to produce an output of disease risk in one package, were transparently described and validated, were named (for future searching and versioning), and were accessible (ie, the code was published during the past 10 years or was available on a repository, web platform, or other user interface). We noted disproportionate representation of developers based at North American and European institutions. Most tools (n=30 [81%]) focused on vector-borne diseases, and more than half (n=16 [53%]) of these tools focused on malaria. Few tools (n=4 [11%]) focused on food-borne, respiratory, or water-borne diseases. The under-representation of tools for estimating outbreaks of directly transmitted diseases represents a major knowledge gap. Just over half (n=20 [54%]) of the tools assessed were described as operationalised, with many freely available online.

Vote for Outstanding NTD OR Achievements


Thanks to those who submitted ideas for the community's most outstanding OR achievements. Now, it's time to vote! The 10 achievements with the most votes will be featured in a video at the COR-NTD Annual Meeting. Please vote by June 11. 

Upcoming Events

The use of secondary data in social research
June 15, 2023

Cameroon Schistosomiasis Day
July 26, 2023
Global Schistosomiasis Alliance

NNN Conference 2023
September 19-21, 2023
Neglected Tropical Disease NGO Network

COR-NTD Annual Meeting
October 16-17, 2023
Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases

American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene Annual Meeting
October 18-22, 2023

November 20-23, 2023
European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health