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Cambodia and Laos eliminate trachoma as a public health problem & other NTD News

News roundup

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.

 LSTM's information graphic on Vector Biology and Parasitology 

Lymphatic filariasis

Significant decline in lymphatic filariasis associated with nationwide scale-up of insecticide-treated nets in Zambia

M. Nsakashalo-Senkwe et al.
Parasite Epidemiology and Control
Whilst a causal relationship between LF prevalence and ITN coverage cannot be proved, we propose that the scale-up of Insecticide-treated bednets has helped to control Anopheles mosquito populations, which have in turn impacted on LF transmission significantly before the scale-up of MDA. This putative synergy with vector control has helped to put Zambia on track to meet national and global goals of LF elimination by 2020.


Towards A Major Public Health Milestone: Sierra Leone's Progress Towards Eliminating River Blindness

John Uniack Davis
Onchocerciasis has been known to humankind since “biblical times”. It was second only to cataract as a cause of blindness in Sierra Leone until recently – It used to be so common in some highly-affected riverside villages that people accepted the inevitability of visual impairment from their mid-30s.


WHO convenes experts to enhance capacity for schistosomiasis control across the sub-Sahara Region

Alphoncina Nanai
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization (WHO) and partners have organized a training of country programmes and experts who are going to support programmes to implement snail control interventions. This is the second Malacology and Snail Control training being organized within the WHO China-Africa collaboration in schistosomiasis control.

'Infiltrin' protein discovery could help stop spread of deadly parasitic worm

Lindsay Brooke
Medical Xpress
The discovery of a new 'infiltrin' protein on a parasitic egg that is responsible for spreading deadly infections amongst millions of people could lead to better prevention and treatment.

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Side Benefits of MDA for Lymphatic Filariasis on Strongyloides stercoralis Prevalence on Pemba Island, Tanzania

Beatrice Barda et al.
The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Strongyloides stercoralis, although endemic in many countries, is not included in helminth control programs ...this data suggest that the prevalence of S. stercoralis on Pemba was significantly reduced 7 years after the last ivermectin administration for preventive chemotherapy and underlines the importance and impact of large-scale preventive chemotherapy, which often goes beyond its actual target. Preventive chemotherapy with ivermectin should be recommended in areas where S. stercoralis is endemic.


Cambodia and the Lao People's Democratic Republic wipe out trachoma—leading infectious cause of blindness

Ruel E. Serrano
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization (WHO) congratulated the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on eliminating trachoma as a public health problem.

Cambodia and Laos eliminate trachoma as a public health problem

RTI International
USAID began supporting the governments’ efforts in Laos and Cambodia towards trachoma elimination in 2012.Through the END in Asia project and ENVISION projects, USAID assisted the ministries of health in collecting reliable data on the status of trachoma in the countries and determined the appropriate response required to work toward elimination.

Malawi govt, BICO upbeat to eliminate trachoma by 2019

Kondwani Magombo -Mana
The Nyasa Times
Malawi Government and Blantyre Institute for Community Outreach (BICO) have expressed hope that Malawi would eliminate trachoma by year 2019 through Trachoma Elimination Programme.


Global health policy and neglected tropical diseases: Then, now, and in the years to come

Thomas Fürst et al.
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
It is important to note that being considered in the vast sustainable development goals, or SDGs agenda will not automatically ensure or even further raise the profile of NTDs. Furthermore, Millennium Development Goals, or MDG-related structures, longer-term commitments, and connections will not automatically be adjusted to the SDG goals.

Recognising the role of community-directed treatment and of women in the fight against NTDs

Uche Amazigo, Andy Crump and Tore Godal
The Lancet Global Health
Great progress has been made in tackling NTDs worldwide. In Africa, around 190 000 communities regularly receive ivermectin. Additionally, a network of trained volunteers, who supplement and reinforce the national health system in isolated areas, has been established, resulting in over 1 million disability-adjusted life years having been averted due to integrated Community Directed Treatment, or ComDT.

Exclusive: Abu Dhabi to launch campaign to reach 'last mile' on preventable disease

Elizabeth Dickinson
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi will host a Global Health Forum later this year that will serve as a “stepping out” for the United Arab Emirates’ role as a major player in eliminating neglected tropical disease, Devex has learned.

Pharmaceutical Society, Janssen and GES to fight worm infestation

George-Ramsey Benamba
Ghana News Agency
The fight against worm infestation has received a major boost through collaboration between the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSG) and Janssen Pharmaceuticals of Johnson and Johnson, for a joint effort at eradicating worms among school children in Ghana. Mr Benjamin Kwame Botwe, the President of the PSG, announced this during the launch of this year’s World Pharmacists Day in Accra.

MoH in quest for healthier Brunei

Danial Norjidi
Borneo Bulletin
The Ministry of Health has identified three strategic priorities: inculcating the concept of ‘Health is Everyone’s Business’; delivering excellent services through alignment and consolidation; and preventing and controlling non-communicable diseases (NCDs) to meet this vision ...In the study, indicators which Brunei scored highly in were: vaccination coverage; air pollution; water, sanitation and hygiene; the presence of a skilled birth attendant at delivery; malaria control; and neglected tropical diseases (including dengue and other vector-borne diseases).

Ideas Positive challenges youth to make a stand for health

SunStar Manilla
IDEAS Positive invites youth from all over the Philippines to use their creativity and passion to solve health issues around the country ...Ideas Positive also identified priority topics addressing the pressing health issues, such as non-communicable and lifestyle-related diseases; diseases related to urbanization; infectious diseases; neglected tropical diseases; nutrition; water, sanitation and hygiene (Wash); and mental health.

Experts On Neglected Tropical Diseases Meet In Abuja

The Eagle Online
The committee is to review its activities, discuss progress or otherwise and proffer solutions to some of the challenges in eliminating Neglected Tropical Diseases in Nigeria. The steering committee is the highest decision making body on Neglected Tropical Diseases.


iBio and TheoremDx Collaborate to Develop Proteins for Rapid Diagnostics Testing Products

Markets Insider
iBio, with its subsidiary, iBio CDMO LLC in Bryan/College Station, Texas ("iBio CDMO"), has partnered with TheoremDx, Inc., in Edina, Minnesota, to develop proteins for rapid diagnostic testing products ...The initial focus is on developing rapid diagnostic tests to identify and distinguish specific neglected tropical diseases (Zika, Dengue, Chikungunya, and West Nile) from each other and to create a superior next generation HIV test.

Updated estimation of impact of a Japanese encephalitis immunization program with live, attenuated SA 14-14-2 vaccine in Nepal

Shyam Raj Upreti et al.
PLOS Neglected Tropical Disease
This analysis strengthens previous findings of the substantial impact of Nepal’s JE immunization program using SA 14-14-2 JE vaccine.

Vaccine against Zika virus must remain a priority

The Lancet
On Sept 1, the pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur announced that it was withdrawing from development of a vaccine against Zika virus infection. This announcement raises concerns about the future of Zika virus vaccine development, at a time when the number of cases is falling and other questions about the virus remain unanswered.

As Africa Warms, Mosquito Carrying Zika, Dengue More Likely to Thrive

VOA News
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures ...In sub-Saharan Africa, this means malaria rates could rise in cooler areas as they heat up, but fall in hotter places that now battle the disease.

Move over malaria: Mosquitoes carrying Zika, dengue may thrive in warmer Africa

Kieran Guilbert
Relief Web
In sub-Saharan Africa, this means malaria rates could rise in cooler areas as they heat up, but fall in hotter places that now battle the disease. In those areas, malaria - one of the continent's biggest killers - may be rivaled by other vector-borne diseases as major health crises.

International survey to identify diagnostic needs to support malaria elimination

Ana Campillo, Jennifer Daily and Iveth J. González
Malaria Jounal
This survey provided valuable information on the use and current limitations of Active Case Detection, or ACD, on the primary product characteristics for a next-generation combination of Highly Sensitive Rapid Diagnostic Test, or HS-RDT to support ACD and radical cure, and on the potential adoption of such a test, if available, to support malaria elimination.

Improving the quality of WHO guidelines over the last decade: progress and challenges

Susan L Norris and Nathan Ford
The Lancet
WHO is a leading and respected source of normative guidance. With a particular focus on the needs of low-income and middle-income countries, the scope of WHO guidelines is vast, ranging from specific interventions aimed at controlling particular aspects of emerging health threats

Trusted messages key to counter community concerns during disease outbreak

Medical Xpress
Targeted on two Ebola 'hotspots' in Sierra Leone, urban Freetown and the rural Bombali district, the study involved engaging the community in the development of Ebola messaging to address common concerns about the disease.

Upcoming Events 

The multidisciplinarity of parasitology: host-parasite evolution and control in an ever changing world
September 28-30, London, UK
British Society of Parasitology
The meeting’s aim will be to explore and broadly discuss recent progress towards understanding host-parasite relationships, with a particular emphasis on vectors and intermediate hosts of human diseases.  The meeting will also be a convenient opportunity to develop a festschrift in Parasitology in honour of Prof David Rollinson (a former President of the BSP), marking over forty years of parasitological research.

The 8th Annual NTD NGO Network Meeting
September 28-30, Dakar, Senegal
Neglected Tropical Disease NGO Network
The NNN 2017 Conference will focus on how we, as the NGO community, come together to facilitate this comprehensive approach and generate solutions and actions that can be implemented in the programmes we support. This won’t be just another NTD conference – it’s your chance to roll up your sleeves, have your say and shape the end result.

Designing and Managing Public Health Information Systems
October 2-November 27, Webinar
Informatics Academy
Designing and Managing Public Health Information Systems: 8 Steps to Success is a short, instructor-supported, distance learning course in public health informatics.

Diagnosing Health Behaviors for Global Health Programs
October 9-November 6, 2017, Online
John Hopkins University
This is a course that will examine the behavior of individual in depth in this course, we also recognize by way of the Ecological Model that individual behavior is encouraged or constrained by the behavior of families, social groups, communities, organizations and policy makers.

Digital Bridge Webinar Series: Building the Legal Framework Behind eCR
October 11, Webinar
Public Health Informatics Institute
As its first use case, the Digital Bridge initiative is working to establish a nationally scalable approach to electronic case reporting (eCR). Part of that work is identifying and defining the best legal approaches to make eCR more feasible. This webinar will highlight the challenges and recommended strategies to implement eCR on a national level.

World Sight Day
October 12
International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness
World Sight Day (WSD) is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October, to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment.

Women Leaders in Global Health
October 12, Stanford, CA
Women in Global Health
Women in Global Health is pleased to partner with Stanford University's Center for Innovation in Global Health to present the Women Leaders in Global Health Conference this October 12th, 2017. Registration is now open for this inaugural event. The conference builds on the global movement to press for gender equity in global health leadership by celebrating great works of emerging and established women in the field and cultivating the next generation of women leaders.

Global Handwashing Day
October 15
October 15 is Global Handwashing Day, a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. Global Handwashing Day is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times

ASTMH 66th Annual Meeting
November 5-9, Baltimore, Maryland
American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
The ASTMH Annual Meeting draws tropical medicine and global health professionals representing academia, government, non-profits, philanthropy, NGOs, industry, military and private practice. The meeting is designed for researchers, professors, government and public health officials, military personnel, travel clinic physicians, practicing physicians in tropical medicine, students and all health care providers working in the fields of tropical medicine, hygiene and global health. 

Swedish-Ethiopian Course in Tropical Infections
November 13, 2017 - February 11, 2018, Stockholm, Sweden
Karolinska University Hospital
This is a course in clinical tropical medicine and HIV for clinicians. The overall aim is to provide general knowledge about infectious diseases which require or thrive in a warm climate and / or are important causes of morbidity and mortality in low-income countries. The focus is on diagnosis and treatment both in situations with scarce resources and in more affluent countries. The field visit to Ethiopia gives the participants a unique experience of the health system and infectious disease panorama in a developing country.

ISNTD Water 2017
November 23, 2017 London, UK 
Natural History Museum
ISNTD Water provides the multidisciplinary platform and network for the research, charity and business sectors to partner and collaborate to address diseases and conditions of poverty worldwide.

World Vaccine & Immunotherapy Congress West Coast
November 30 - December 1, San Diego, CA
Following on from the highly successful World Vaccine Congress series in Washington DC and Europe for the past 18 years, the San Diego event will offer learning and business development opportunities taking advantage of the rich biotech and funding environment that the west coast offers.

Eradicate Malaria World Congress 2018
February 18, 2018, Melbourne, Australia
The inaugural World Congress on Malaria - Eradicate Malaria 2018 - will bring together the broad global community including implementers, scientists, funders, governments, policy makers and those directly affected by the disease. The aim is to bring the broad spectrum of the malaria world together for the first time, to further galvanise the effort for the eradication of malaria.

World Vaccine Washington
April 3-5, 2018, Washington, DC
Make sure you are at the forefront of the vaccines industry. No matter where your interest lies, we have content, networking and potential partners for you. By bringing eight events together under one roof, you get to choose the sessions which are the most applicable to help your business plan for the future of vaccine research, development and manufacture.

Multilateral Initiative on Malaria 
April 15-18, 2018, Dakar, Senegal
The Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) was established in 1997 with a mission to strengthen and sustain through collaborative research and training, the capacity of malaria-endemic countries in Africa to carry out research that is required to develop and improve tools for malaria control and to strengthen the research-control interphase.