Accurate and reliable diagnostic tools are a requirement for neglected tropical disease (NTD) programs and to reach the 2030 NTD roadmap targets. For many NTDs, diagnostic tests are required to support programmatic decisions on changing treatment frequency or stopping mass treatment, and decisions regarding surveillance and validating or verifying elimination. To address this need, the NTD Department at WHO has developed a Diagnostic Technical Advisory group that is charged with reviewing the diagnostic landscape, developing detailed target product profiles to describe the diagnostic tools needed to achieve program targets and to work with WHO to advocate for resources to develop these tools. COR-NTD, as a coalition and through the secretariat, is committed to tackling these challenges.
The COR-NTD Secretariat provides administrative and logistic support for the WHO DTAGto organize meetings of the DTAG subgroups, share meeting outputs with WHO and to engage the NTD community in reviewing draft target product profiles.
COR-NTD’s research portfolio includes a number of projects funded to identify new biomarkers and develop new test prototypes.
With support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), COR-NTD issued arequest for proposals to support development of improved diagnostic tools and methods, with an initial focus on lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis. Future RFPs will diversify this support.
COR-NTD, in collaboration with the DTAG and other partners, is supporting a diagnostics landscaping activity to map available diagnostics across the NTD portfolio. COR-NTD is working with WHO, the DTAG and donors to support biobanking, the development of specimen repositories to facilitate diagnostics development.
The goal of all of these efforts is to address the challenges that may impede progress towards achieving the 2030 Roadmap targets. COR-NTD and other stakeholders are actively working to drive resources and technical support towards the identified gaps.