WHO's progress report on elimination of trachoma, 2020 & 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 Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center. 


Lymphatic filariasis

138m Nigerians at risk of lymphatic disease

Vanguard News Nigeria

“We must start doing assessment in LGAs that are due to stop treatment to meet the global elimination date of 2030,” said Davis. He stated that the prevalence study conducted between year 2000 and 2018 in 774 LGAs in Nigeria, showed that 75.3 per cent LGAs were endemic for LF disease in 36 states and the FCT.

SoCot steps up surveillance, case-finding vs. filariasis

Philippine News Agency

Health personnel in South Cotabato intensified their surveillance and case-finding activities against filariasis to keep the province free from the mosquito-borne parasitic disease.



Onchocerciasis: Nigeria To Finalise Implementation Guideline By December, As 50 million Nigerians Are At Risk

Modupe aduloju

Kapital FM 92.9 (Nigeria)

Nigeria is expected to finalise the Onchocerciasis Implementation Guideline before December 2021, for stopping mass drug administration and verifying elimination of human onchocerciasis: criteria and procedures. . . Dr Nicholas Olobio observed that recent epidemiological and entomological studies revealed that transmission of Onchocerciasis has been interrupted in Plateau, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Kebbi and Zamfara States.

Mass Drug Administration launched to fight Onchocerciasis

Precious Semevoh

Myjoy Online (Ghana)

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has launched the 2021 National Mass Drug Administration (MDA) in Sunyani to fight the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), especially human Onchocerciasis. The MDAs, scheduled from August 9 to 22, beyond the 11 endemic districts, have targeted 137 districts in all regions of Ghana except Greater Accra. About 12.6 million people are expected to take the drugs in this year’s implementation of the NTD program.

Predicting the environmental suitability for onchocerciasis in Africa as an aid to elimination planning

Elizabeth A. Cromwell et al.

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

As of 2018, it was unknown if onchocerciasis transmission occurred among approximately 2 400 implementation units (IUs; typically, second administrative-level units, such as districts) considered potentially endemic. . . This analysis suggests that approximately half of the IUs considered for surveys could be classified as environmentally suitable for onchocerciasis.



A loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay for Schistosoma mansoni detection in Biomphalaria spp. from schistosomiasis...

Silvia Gonçalves Mesquita et al.

Parasites & Vectors

Our findings suggest that LAMP is a good alternative method for the detection and monitoring of transmission foci of S. mansoni, as it was three times as effective as the parasitological examination used here for the detection of infection, and is more directly applicable in the field than other molecular techniques.

The Search for a Schistosomiasis Vaccine: Australia’s Contribution

Donald P. McManus


Australia has played a leading role in schistosomiasis vaccine research over many years and this review presents an overview of some of the significant contributions made by Australian scientists in this important area.

Evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of a community dialogue intervention in the prevention and control...

Sandrine Martin et al.


The CD [community dialogue] intervention was found highly acceptable and feasible, particularly well-suited to resource poor settings. Non-specialist community volunteers were able to deliver participatory CDs which resulted in increased knowledge among participants and triggered individual and communal actions for improved disease prevention and control. The visual flipchart was a key aid for learning; the use of participatory communication techniques allowed the correction of misconceptions and positioned correct prevention and control practices as the community recommendations, through consensus building.

Female Genital Schistosomiasis and HIV-1 Incidence in Zambian Women: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Amy S Sturt et al.

Open Forum Infectious Diseases

Despite higher HIV seroconversion rates in women with FGS, there was no statistical evidence of association, possibly due to low power. Further longitudinal studies should investigate this association in a setting with higher schistosomiasis endemicity.

Whole-genome sequencing of Schistosoma mansoni reveals extensive diversity with limited selection despite MDA

Duncan J. Berger

Nature Communications

A single round of treatment did not reduce this diversity with no apparent population contraction caused by long-term praziquantel use. We find evidence of positive selection acting on members of gene families previously implicated in praziquantel action, but detect no high frequency functionally impactful variants.

Mapping Soil-Transmitted Helminths and Schistosomiasis in Angola: An Overview

The Mentor Initiative

The MENTOR Initiative in collaboration with the Angolan National NTD Control Program, the Kirby Institute of the University of New South Wales Sydney, and the Expanded Special Project for Elimination Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN), with support from The End Fund is working to understand the impact of a 5 year mass drug administration (MDA) and WASH programme aimed to reduce the incidence and prevalence of two prevalence neglected tropical diseases, Schistosomiasis (SCH) and Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH), in 3 high risk provinces of Angola. By mapping the prevalence and intensity of both infections, the study aims to quantify the progress achieved for SCH and STH control in targeted provinces. The mapping is taking place among school aged children 6 to 11 years in Huambo, Uíge and Zaire.


Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Clinical utility of peptide microarrays in the serodiagnosis of neglected tropical diseases in sub-Saharan Africa: protocol ...

Arthur Vengesai et al.

BMJ Open

Neglected tropical diseases tend to cluster in the same poor populations and, to make progress with their control, they will have to be dealt with in an integrated manner. Peptide microarrays may be a solution to these problems, where diagnosis for co-infection can be detected simultaneously using the one tool. A meta-analysis using hierarchical models will be performed to assess the diagnostic accuracy of peptide microarrays for detecting schistosomiasis (Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium), soil-transmitted helminths (Trichuris trichiura, Ascaris lumbricoides and Necator americanus), trachoma (Chlamydia trachomatis), lymphatic filariasis (Wuchereria bancrofti) and onchocerciasis (Onchocerca volvulus) in people residing in sub-Saharan Africa.

Diagnostic Techniques for Soil-Transmitted Helminths – Recent Advances

Khurana S, Singh S and Mewara A

Research and Reports in Tropical Medicine

However, recently, these are being adapted to closed, easy to perform, digital formats, thereby improving the sensitivity as well as applicability in a remote, resource-limited setting.

Prevalence of strongyloidiasis in Peru: systematic review and meta-analysis

Sonia Ortiz-Martínez et al.

BMC Infectious Diseases

Prevalence of S. stercoralis in Peru was high but varied by geographic area, techniques for stool examination, and participant characteristics.



Weekly epidemiological record: WHO Alliance for the Global Elimination of Trachoma by 2020...

World Health Organization

In 2020, trachoma programmes worldwide collectively reported management of more than 42 000 people for TT and provision of antibiotics for trachoma elimination purposes to 32.8 million: 45% and 34% of the 2019 totals, respectively.

Empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and working across sectors to eliminate trachoma from Australia

Nick Wilson, Emma Stanford and Hugh Taylor

International Coalition for Trachoma Control

Key to the NTEHP’s [National Trachoma and Eye Health Program] success was the involvement of Aboriginal people in roles related to community and cultural engagement.



Mural with a message: Using art to tell the NTD story in Guinea

ACT to End NTDs | West

M’baye “Léfa” Aissatou and Diaw Omar Chimere are talented artists who have found an innovative way to combine their work with their passion for improving the health of the people of Guinea. . . . Yet, they remember a time when it was hard to find the energy to sketch. That was when they were sick with a neglected tropical disease (NTD) caused by soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections (intestinal worms), which both suffered from at one point in their lives. Fortunately, both recovered after receiving safe, effective treatments, but being sick taught them how hard it is to do anything—even the things that you love—when you’re suffering from a debilitating NTD.

How Women are Leading the Fight to Beat NTDs


Women and girls often disproportionately feel the impacts of NTDs due to a variety of social, cultural, and economic factors. While women suffer from the debilitating effects and social consequences of NTDs, they are also playing a crucial role in the fight to beat these devastating diseases. From pioneering research efforts, to leading countries’ in their work to build sustainable NTD programming, many women are stepping up to lead the charge in controlling and eliminating NTDs.

Calibr partners with Wellcome Trust to create consortium for neglected tropical diseases

Scripps Research

Calibr, the drug development division of Scripps Research, has partnered with Wellcome to launch the Integrated Drug Discovery Consortium for Neglected Tropical Diseases (IDDC-NTD). The three-year, $24 million grant will support Calibr in leveraging innovative approaches to address some of the most challenging neglected tropical diseases across the globe.



Effect of Sanitation Interventions on Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review of Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trials ...

Artwell Kanda, Esper Jacobeth Ncube and Kuku Voyi

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Evidence is limited and suggestive of the impact of sanitation on parasite infestation and child growth. Further rigorous sanitation intervention trials under varying settings are needed to show what really works and under what settings.

Cover image:

Photo credit: How flies can spread trachoma, which can devastate the eyes. Photo: USAID's Act to End NTDs | West, Helen Keller Intl, Guinea; Artist: M’baye “Léfa” Aissatou and Diaw Omar Chimere.


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

Schistosomiasis hotspots: why understanding morbidity hotspots is needed to achieve new WHO NTD road map targets
August 18, 2021
Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene and the London Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research 

Operational Research Results and Recommendations for NTD Programs in the COVID-19 Context
August 25, 2021
COR-NTD and the Neglected Tropical Diseases NGO Network

Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network
September 7, 2021
Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network

World Field Epidemiology Day 
September 7, 2021
Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network

NTD NGO Network Conference 2021
September 7-9, 2021
Neglected Tropical Disease NGO Network

12th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health
September 26-October 1, 2021

RSTMH Annual Meeting 2021 – drug resistant infections: causes, consequences and considerations
October 11-12, 2021
The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene

COR-NTD 2021 Virtual Meeting
November 8-10, 2021
Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases

American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting
November 17-21, 2021
American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting
November 17-21, 2021
American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting
November 17-21, 2021
American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Canadian Conference on Global Health
November 24-26, 2021
Canadian Association for Global Health

FREE ONLINE COURSE: Eliminating Trachoma
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine 

FREE ONLINE COURSE: Improving the Health of Women, Children and Adolescents: from Evidence to Action.
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine 

FREE ONLINE COURSE: Neglected tropical diseases in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: impact and guidance
World Health Organization