WHO Releases Deworming Policy for Adolescent Girls and Women of Reproductive Age and One Health Supplement 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: A village resident in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria State uses a pipe filter to drink water safely. The device filters out tiny crustaceans that harbor Guinea worm larvae. Credit: The Carter Center

Lymphatic filariasis

Carter Centre Treats 36 Million Nigerians against Lymphatic Filariasis

Seriki Adinoyi, THISDAY (Nigeria)

Carter Centre, an international non-governmental organisation has treated over 36 million Nigerians with Albendazole and Mectizan in line with efforts to prevent Lymphatic Filariasis (elephantiasis and hydrocele), a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) in Plateau and Nasarawa states. . . Eigege said the centre provided the treatments in almost a quarter of a century, adding that they also successfully carried over 10, 000 surgeries on patients with Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) that degenerated into hydrocele (enlarged testis) and lymphedema.

Two-year Study Finds Effective Treatment for Disabling and Stigmatizing Condition

The Task Force for Global Health

Preliminary results from a two-year study in six countries suggest significant improvement for people affected by lymphedema, thanks particularly to daily hygiene of the affected limbs. 

Defeating a Disabling Disease

Act to End NTDs | East, Medium

This strategy is working. Today, the 17 million people living in areas where LF was endemic in Uganda are no longer at risk for the disease.

Schistosomiasis

Precision Mapping: Shrinking the endemicity map for schistosomiasis in Uganda

Crown Agents

As part of the ARISE project, which is funded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, our teams have been applying new ‘Precision-mapping’ protocols to enhance efforts to combat the NTD, schistosomiasis. . . Working with governments in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, through the use of precision mapping, ARISE is supporting Ministries of Health collect improved information on exactly which areas of the country still require treatment. The updated maps then guide the governments’ next steps around NTD control and focus treatment and prevention activities on areas most in need.   

Addressing a silent and neglected scourge in sexual and reproductive health in Sub-Saharan Africa by development of training competencies to improve prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) for health workers

Julie Jacobson et al., Reproductive Health

Defining the skills necessary for FGS management is a critical step to prepare for proper diagnosis and treatment of women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa by trained health professionals. The suggested competencies can now serve as the foundation to create educative tools and curricula to better train health care workers on the prevention, diagnosis, and management of FGS.

Call for Articles on "Schistosomiasis—Where Are We and Where Do We Want To Go?"

Pathogens

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817). This special issue belongs to the section "Parasitic Pathogens". Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 November 2022.

Shifting the dynamics: implementation of locally driven, mixed-methods modelling to inform schistosomiasis control and elimination activities

Cristin Alexis Fergus et al., BMJ Global Health

The combination of participatory systems mapping and individual-based modelling was a rich strategy which explicitly integrated the perspectives of national and subnational policymakers and practitioners into the development of evidence. This strategy can serve as a method by which individuals who have not been traditionally included in modelling activities, and do not hold positions or work in traditional centres of power, may be heard and truly integrated into the development of evidence for decision-making in global health.

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Deworming adolescent girls and women of reproductive age. Policy brief

World Health Organization

The aim of this policy brief is to promote the regular deworming of adolescent girls and women of reproductive age. Its target audience is decision-makers, programme managers and staff of nongovernmental organizations responsible for improving the health of women. 

Johnson & Johnson Marks More Than 2 Billion Doses of Medicine Donated to Date to Help Combat Intestinal Worms

Jake Sargent and Jessica Freifeld, Johnson & Johnson

Millions of children in more than 50 countries have received deworming medication since the donation program began in 2006, enabling them to grow and thrive.

Q&A: The key to fighting NTDs in Africa

Devex

Speaking to Devex, Karutu discussed the importance of MDA and drug donations, the impact of COVID-19 on these initiatives, and what the future holds for tackling STHs and other NTDs.

Including women in deworming the world

The Lancet

Establishing a deworming programme for girls and women is difficult. However, targeting these groups through existing health-care services can substantially improve helminth-associated morbidity and newborn mortality. Ministries of health should promote the message that deworming is safe during pregnancy, and existing school-based deworming programmes should consider integrating women into their strategy.

Trachoma

Meet the Amazing Ugandan Doctor Restoring Eyesight and Hope in Rural Communities

Tife Sanusi and Oluwafunmilayo Taiwo, Global Citizen

In honour of World NTDs Day, on Jan. 30, Global Citizen spoke with Gladys Atto, an ophthalmologist working in Uganda’s rural communities, about her work supporting people with visual limitations caused by NTDs, fighting the stigma around these diseases, and taking action to eliminate them.

Q&A: Orbis Ethiopia's Dr. Alemayehu Sisay talks World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day

Optometry Times

This will be our 23rd year of working to eliminate trachoma in Ethiopia. In collaboration with local partners, Orbis implements the WHO-recommended SAFE strategy (Surgery to correct trachomatous trichiasis; Antibiotics for the bacterium that causes trachoma; Facial cleanliness to reduce transmission; and Environmental improvement to reduce risk of transmission and infection).

Most recently, we administered nearly 9 million doses of trachoma-fighting antibiotics in just 1 month across 102 districts in Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region (SNNPR), Sidama, and the new Southwest Region. Those doses are part of the over 12 million Orbis distributed in 2021.

RTI, UNC researchers develop smartphone app to fight neglected tropical disease

Jason Parker, WRAL Tech Wire

Researchers from RTI International and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill released a new application that uses machine learning technology to detect trachomatous trichiasis.

An observational assessment of the safety of mass drug administration for trachoma in Ethiopian children

Allan M Ciciriello et al., Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

There is a high level of adherence to the revised azithromycin dosing guidelines and low incidence of choking and ASEs.

Cross-cutting

World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day

Pallavi Koirala, MyRepublica

Our country Nepal is endemic for eight NTDs which are lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, kala-azar, leprosy, soil-transmitted helminth infections, dengue, rabies, and cysticercosis. Snake bite venoming is an important NTD in Nepal whose morbidity and mortality burden in the country exceeds the collective burden of NTDs in Nepal. Nepal made a breakthrough progress in achieving the elimination of trachoma in 2018 and it is on track to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis by 2026. Our country is progressively working toward the control and prevention of the NTDs. 

Five ways innovation is changing the fight against neglected tropical diseases

Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative

On World NTD Day 2022, here are five innovations that can help bring the #BestScienceForAll. Mr Assani’s dream: New treatments for river blindness-Democratic Republic of Congo; Data for good: East African innovation-Kenya; Innovation in action: eliminating kala-azar in South Asia-India; Speeding up access: The iChagas app-Latin America; Accelerating scientific discovery: The Alphafold project-UK.

Play your part to fight NTDs

Sightsavers

For World NTD Day on 30 January, Sightsavers is calling on the global community to work together to beat neglected tropical diseases. On the social media wall below, you can see why people worldwide are committed to the cause.

Heart-to-Heart: Ethiopian Doctor Uses compassion + Medical Training to Fight NTDs

The Task Force for Global Health

In 30 years of practice, Dr. Zerihun Tadesse has touched nearly every part of the Ethiopian health system. . . In recent years, Zerihun has developed a new appreciation for something he learned, not through his medical training, but as a boy from his mother: compassion. . . In the last quarter of 2020, Zerihun joined an eight-week program on “Compassionate Leadership and Resilience Training for Global Health Leaders” led by the Center for Compassionate Leadership and The Task Force’s Focus Area for Compassion and Ethics (FACE), with 22 participants from 11 countries. 

World NTD Day 2022 and a new Kigali Declaration to galvanise commitment to end neglected tropical diseaseshttps://idpjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40249-021-00932-2

Thoko Elphick-Pooley and Dirk Engels on behalf of Uniting to Combat NTDs, Infectious Diseases of Poverty

The initial NTD roadmap and the London Declaration on neglected tropical diseases have given a boost to implementation of NTD interventions allowing to come close to WHO’s 2020 targets. The launch of WHO’s second NTD roadmap 2021–2030 implored a new high-level political declaration to reiterate and invigorate commitments to end NTDs by 2030. As the Government of Rwanda has agreed to sponsor such a declaration, the Kigali Declaration on Neglected tropical diseases will be launched in 2022 and will be preceded by a global campaign to solicit an expanded group of stakeholders that are 100% Committed to ending NTDs to sign the declaration and announce their commitments.

What Will It Take to Eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases Once and for All?

Sarah El Gharib, Global Citizen

Over the last 50 years, the work carried out by the international community has resulted in tremendous strides in making these debilitating conditions a thing of the past. . . Ending NTDs is not some utopian fantasy; it’s a tangible vision of the future that we can work toward every day. The World Health Organization (WHO) has outlined an ambitious roadmap to tackle these diseases by 2030, but carrying it out requires countries, partners, and Global Citizens to demonstrate strong political will. Here's why — and how — NTDs can become a thing of the past.

How to create an enabling environment to tackle NTDs long term

Crown Agents

Lessons from the Ascend and ARISE programmes about what it takes to secure an enabling environment for government ownership include the following 4 key areas.

Neglected Tropical Diseases

Voice of America Editorials

Since 2006, USAID has provided more than $1 billion to eliminate NTDs. Every $1 invested by the U.S. Government leverages $26 in donated medicines for mass treatment campaigns totaling $27.6 billion in value. Now nearly 500 million people no longer require treatment for three of the most burdensome NTDs.

On World NTD Day, WHO releases key document to guide a paradigm shift towards One Health

Ashok Moloo, World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a document that aims to support countries, international organizations, and partners to work together to identify common grounds to maximize efforts to control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Ending the neglect to attain the sustainable development goals. One health: approach for action against neglected tropical diseases 2021-2030 – a companion document to the current NTD road map - provides guidance on One Health actions that are needed by stakeholders and how to support a paradigm shift towards One Health in national NTD programmes.

Sesame Workshop's RAYA Explains Neglected Tropical Diseases

Reaching the Last Mile Global Health, YouTube

Neglected Tropical Diseases continue to affect 1.7 billion people around the world causing devastating effects. NTDs prevent children from going to school and adults from going to work, and they impair cognitive and physical development. The good news is that NTDs are preventable

NNN 2021 Conference Report

NTD NGO Network

Workshop summaries, key points and next steps from the 2021 meeting shared.

UAE landmarks, Expo 2020 Dubai, to light up for 'World NTD Day' on Sunday

UAE

In a show of global solidarity, 100 landmarks in 32 countries – including Expo 2020 Dubai – will light up in unity on Sunday to mark the third annual World NTD (neglected tropical diseases) Day, a world movement aimed at galvanising the global health community and engaging the public to end NTDs.

Some of the global landmarks include Sheikh Zayed Bridge in Abu Dhabi, The Bell Tower in Perth, Australia; Tokyo Tower, Great Wall of China, Kuala Lumpur Tower, The Rome Colosseum, Jet d’ Eau, Niagara Falls, CN Tower, Carter Presidential Library, and Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Forgotten diseases: Achieving health equity to end the neglect of poverty-related diseases in Somalia

WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Social News VYZ

Of the 20 NTDs listed by WHO as endemic in tropical countries, the most prevalent in Somalia are: leprosy, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiases and visceral leishmaniasis. In 2019, as Somalia was one of 16 countries reporting more than 1000 new cases of leprosy, the WHO Global Leprosy programme classified it as a global priority country. In August 2015, the Ministry of Health established an NTD section, after which the detection of new leprosy patients improved, and increased from 107 in 2015 to 2638 in 2021, despite a global drop in cases reported and detected in 2020 due to the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

Video: 100% committed to ending NTDs

Mectizan Donation Program

In this video from GlaxoSmithKline, we hear from people in Indonesia, Ghana, and Malawi about how neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affect their lives. We learn about the problem and the solution from global health and NTD workers, including Dr. David Addiss, Honorable Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, Dr. Jonathan King, Prof. Suma Krishnasastry, Dr. Sultani Matendechero, Dr. Katey Owen, Dr. Yao Sodahlon, Emily Wainwright, Emma Walmsley, and Tijana Williams.

Prioritizing the ‘neglected’: A peek into WHO South-East Asia Region’s efforts to end the NTD scourge

World Health Organization South-East Asia

But soon countries began prioritizing resumption of essential health services along with pandemic response. Despite initial set back, preventive chemotherapy against NTDs reached 462 million people throughout the Region in 2020. Bangladesh implemented TAS, Timor-Leste pre-TAS/TAS and Indonesia introduced IDA in selected districts.

Improving treatment of neglected diseases

Relief Web

Preventive treatment of neglected tropical diseases (NTD) has saved many lives across Africa. However, obstacles persist as these diseases often affect impoverished communities in rural areas, conflict zones and hard-to-reach regions. These diseases are also almost absent from the global health agenda. Dr Paul Emerson, Director of the Atlanta-based International Trachoma Initiative, discusses ways to improve treatment and apply lessons for effective prevention and control.

Progress In The Fight Against Neglected Tropical Diseases

Sarah Ferguson, Forbes

Endemic in some of the poorest and most marginalized parts of the world, neglected tropical diseases prevent children from reaching their full potential. UNICEF is working with partners to keep children and communities safe and healthy. 

FMN, END Fund partner to end tropical diseases in Nigeria

Merit Ibe, The Sun (Nigeria)

Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc ( FMN), an integrated food and agro-allied group, has partnered with the END Fund to tackle prevalent neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in eight locations across the country. 

Why do neglected tropical diseases suffer low priority?

Relief Web

Neglected tropical diseases affect millions of people across Africa, yet the efforts to eliminate them and alleviate the suffering they cause receive little national attention. Professor Nicholas Midzi, an expert in preventive chemotherapy of neglected tropical diseases and the Director of Zimbabwe’s National Institute of Health Research, analyses factors contributing to low priority to these diseases and how to reverse the trend.

‘Over 120m Nigerians at risk of Neglected Tropical Diseases’

Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, The Guardian (Nigeria)

As the second country with the highest burden of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in the world, over 120 million Nigerians are at the risk of one NTD or the other. . . Mamora added: “The target of the government is to eliminate all the preventable NTDs and ensure the effective control of case management NTDs on or before 2030. Mapping of the endemic areas with some of these diseases in all 774 LGAs in the country, putting in place policies and guidelines to guide all stakeholders etc…”

COVID-19

Neglected tropical diseases: PAHO calls for an end to delays in treatment in the Americas

Aaron Humes, Breaking Belize News

Тhе СОVІD-19 раndеmіс іntеrruрtеd іntеrvеntіоnѕ аnd еlіmіnаtіоn рrоgrаmѕ fоr thеѕе dіѕеаѕеѕ іn thе Аmеrісаѕ, ѕuсh аѕ mаѕѕ mеdісіnе аdmіnіѕtrаtіоn саmраіgnѕ, ѕurvеуѕ, аnd асtіvе саѕе trасіng. Тhеѕе wеrе mоѕtlу саnсеlеd іn 2020 аnd grаduаllу rеѕumеd іn 2021. РАНО wаrnѕ thаt thеѕе іntеrruрtіоnѕ mау dеlау thе еlіmіnаtіоn оr соntrоl оf ѕоmе оf thеѕе dіѕеаѕеѕ bеуоnd thе tіmеlіnеѕ рrороѕеd рrе-раndеmіс.

Neglected Tropical Diseases Day: India can beat them but that needs bold action

Neeraj Dhingra, Down To Earth

Vector-control measures like Indoor Residual Spraying rounds are undertaken in endemic areas to prevent sandfly breeding. . .

State and central governments have also introduced wage compensation schemes for those suffering from Kala-Azar and its sequela (a condition which is the consequence of a previous disease or injury) known as Post-Kala Azar Dermal Leishmaniasis.

COVID-19 led to the temporary halting of public health programmes in several countries. . . Innovations like using bowls to distribute medicines from a safe distance ensured COVID-appropriate behaviour on ground, even as dynamic dashboards highlighted areas of concern in real time and prompted improved planning and implementation. As a result, MDA coverage and compliance have improved and so far, 134 districts have stopped MDA after passing Transmission Assessment Survey (TAS).

COVID-19 related perception among some community members and frontline healthcare providers for NTD control in Ghana

Collins S. Ahorlu et al., BMC Infectious Diseases

COVID-19 has negatively affected the NTD programme. Education and the provision of personal protective equipment will be required to build the confidence of frontline care providers including community drug distributors and community members in order to enhance quality service and participation in future MDA activities.

Other

Rwanda To Benefit From $9M NTDs Grant

Wilson Twagira, KT Press

An international partnership, which includes Rwanda Biomedical Center and University of Rwanda and led by the UK’s Brighton and Sussex Medical School, has been awarded over $9 million grant. From UK’s National Institute for Health Research, the grant will help to carry out vital work on some of the most ‘ignored’ diseases in Africa. The new grant will fund research in Rwanda, Ethiopia and Sudan working on three ‘neglected tropical diseases’: Podoconiosis, Mycetoma and scabies.

World Records Fewest Guinea Worm Cases in History of Eradication Campaign

The Carter Center

Just 14* human cases of Guinea worm disease occurred worldwide in 2021, drawing nearer to the goal of global eradication, The Carter Center announced Wednesday. It is the lowest annual case total ever recorded, and the cases occurred in just four countries. When The Carter Center assumed leadership of the global Guinea Worm Eradication Program in 1986, about 3.5 million human cases occurred annually in 21 countries in Africa and Asia.

Frequent Contact: One Health Worker’s Secret to Reaching Zero Leprosy . . .

The Task Force for Global Health

Last year, Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy connected Vontade and other National Leprosy Programme supervisors across Mozambique with regional and international experts to share experiences. Together, these teams consulted health workers and people who have experienced leprosy to better understand patients’ experiences and find ways to improve health outcomes.

COURSE: Supply chain management of NTD health products for NTD programmes

World Health Organization

A key component of achieving control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) is effective supply chain management of preventive chemotherapy drugs for Mass Drug Administration (MDA) for trachoma, river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis and schistosomiasis. This course explains the end-to-end process from planning and submitting donated drug requests through to waste management of expired and unserviceable stock and reverse logistics of unused tablets. It is essential knowledge for all levels of the health system that must work together to implement MDA. The course is free. Just register for an account on Open WHO and take the course!

Annual RGHI Fellowship Program

Reckitt Global Hygiene Institute

The RGHI Fellowship Program 2022 is now open. The Reckitt Fellowship Program is designed to support early career researchers in the field of hygiene and health in the transition to becoming independent researchers. It is open to researchers with up to 5 years of experience post-PhD (exclusive of career breaks).

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

Launch: WHO guideline on control and elimination of human schistosomiasis
February 15, 2022
World Health Organization

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