Other research topic

The influence of stigma on social participation and mental well-being amongst men and women affected/disabled by lymphatic filariasis and leprosy in the districts of Jaunpur and Patna in India

To what extent does stigma affect social participation and mental wellbeing among men and women affected/disabled by lymphatic filariasis or leprosy in Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh and Patna in Bihar?

Countries: India

Assessing the effectiveness of using the Community Directed Intervention (CDI) approach to improve community ownership of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in Malawi

This project intends to assess the effectiveness of using the Community Directed Intervention (CDI) approach as a vehicle for delivery of mass drug administration (MDA) campaigns against targeted NTDs namely, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths (STH) such as Ascaris lumbricoides (roundworms), Trichuris trichiura (whip worms) and Ancylostoma sp. (hookworms) in selected districts of Malawi. The idea is to take advantage of the logistical setup, organizational strength and high degree of efficiency of the national NTD programme to improve delivery of the current MDA efforts to control selected and highly prioritized NTDs of schistosomiasis and STH and to enhance community ownership of the interventions in selected rural and remote communities by using the CDI approach. The primary research question is: Can the CDI approach be effectively used to deliver MDA to control NTDs at community level in rural Malawian districts?

Countries: Malawi

Trachomatous Trichiasis and Mental Health: a comparative impact study

This study aims to understand the relationship between trachomatous trichiasis (TT) and mental health disorders over an 18-month study period, by answering the following questions:

  1. What is the impact of the blinding stage of trachoma (Trachomatous Trichiasis) on common mental disorders such as depression, anxiety and suicidality?
  2. Will the validation of the 5-Question Stigma Indicators (5-QSI) generic stigma tool help to measure and monitor stigma in trachomatous trichiasis patients in Ethiopia
  3. What are the drivers for mental disorders in TT patients
  4. Is there a difference in depression, anxiety and suicidality prevalence between TT cases accepting vs declining TT surgery; and un-operated vs postoperative TT cases? The research team will be trained on good clinical practice through the WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP). Following interviews, any patient with TT will be referred for surgery and patients found with a mental health disorder will be referred for care. If a negative impact of blinding trachoma on mental health is noted, the researchers plan to use the results of the study to advocate for additional funding for the trachoma program and highlight the need to address mental health in Ethiopia.
Countries: Ethiopia
Diseases: Trachoma

Improving Mass Drug Administration After Pre-Transmission Assessment Survey (Pre-TAS) Failure: A Mixed Methods Study in Nepal

This study builds on the methods developed for the operational studies ongoing in Ghana and Burkina Faso. The first two research questions are the same as those earlier studies with two new questions added here- question 3 on triple drug therapy (ivermectin, DEC, albendazole – IDA) and 4 on the use of a new rapid ethnography approach.

  1. What factors are associated with effective (and lower) MDA coverage as defined as availability, accessibility, and acceptability in settings that have repeatedly failed Pre-TAS?
  2. What is the impact of an adapted and tailored intervention package on achieving effective coverage?
  3. What messages and community engagement approaches are needed to ensure the acceptability of IDA triple drug therapy in Nepal?
  4. How does the rapid ethnography approach compare to more traditional qualitative analysis methods in terms of cost, timeliness, and ability to provide required information for programmatic decisions? Can local capacity for use of this approach be built rapidly?
Countries: Nepal

Interrogating “big data” to develop a user-friendly analysis framework for gender equity in MDA to ensure no one is left behind in Neglected Tropical Disease interventions in Nigeria

To develop and pilot a standardised analytical framework for the spatial and temporal analysis of routinely collected gender disaggregated NTD programme data. This will allow increased understanding and spatial visualisation of the influence of gendered programmatic inputs, external geographic and social factors on the equity of programmatic outputs, particularly access to mass administration of medicines (MAM).

Countries: Nigeria

Improved delivery of / access to Morbidity Management and Disability Prevention (MMDP) / Disease Management, Disability and Inclusion (DMDI) for persons affected by lymphatic filariasis, leprosy, and/or konzo in Nampula, Mozambique

Formative: What is the capacity of the Mozambican health system in general, and the NTD programme more specifically, to provide MMDP/DMDI services for people affected by leprosy, LF and konzo, and what are some of the barriers and facilitators to access these services?

Intervention: Which strategies are currently in place to provide quality healthcare for persons with disabilities, especially those that are caused by leprosy, LF and konzo, and how are MMDP/DMDI services organized vis-à-vis other disease control programs/health service delivery platforms?

Countries: Mozambique

Assessing drug coverage following mass drug administration to monitor the impact of the WHO recommended three-drug regimen of ivermectin, diethylcarbamazine, and albendazole for the elimination of lymphatic filariasis

To validate the reported coverage of the 2018 mass drug administration in American Samoa in order to assess the impact of triple drug therapy with ivermectin, diethylcarbamazine, and albendazole (IDA) for lymphatic filariasis  on infection prevalence

Countries: American Samoa

Addressing the Mental Health of Persons Living with Lymphatic Filariasis in Léogâne, Haiti: Effectiveness of a Chronic Disease Self-Management Program

Intervention: The primary aim of this project is to determine if the introduction of a Chronic Disease Self-Management curriculum into existing Hope Clubs in Léogâne, Haiti will result in improvements in symptoms of depression, self-rated health, chronic disease self-efficacy, social support, and disability.

Formative: What are the barriers that prevent people with LF from participating in Hope Clubs?

Countries: Haiti

Towards sustainability of Schistosomiasis Control: improving health of lake shore communities and engaging civil society structures, educational and health facilities in the hyper-endemic area of Mwanza, Tanzania

Schistosomiasis is among the neglected tropical diseases which are highly endemic in Tanzania, especially along and on the Island of Lake Victoria, in northwestern region. After Nigeria, Tanzania is second country in sub-Saharan Africa for having the highest prevalence of schistosomiasis infection and it is estimated that 52% of approximately 50 million people are living with the disease. Current control strategies in Tanzania focus on mass drug administration (MDA) of Praziquantel (PZQ) mainly in school children. Despite of these efforts, the burden of disease remains high, showing local infection rates of up to 97% among school children. School- based MDA alone is unlikely to have a lasting effect on transmission. Awareness creation and engagement across sectors and of civil society (cooperatives, community councils) structures will help to achieve more sustainable results. The objective of this project is to engage affected communities and civil society structures representing risk population (cooperatives, beach management units) to create awareness through e.g. CHAST (children’s hygiene and sanitation training), participation in control activities and improved health seeking behaviors. Secondarily, the study aims to institutionalize measures for early diagnosis and treatment in health facilities of Nyamagana and Ilemela district, along the Lake Victoria, northwestern Tanzania.

Countries: Tanzania
Diseases: Schistosomiasis

Monitoring migrant groups as a post-treatment surveillance approach to contain the potential risk of lymphatic filaraisis re-emergence after stopping mass drug administration in Togo

In March 2016, the Republic of Togo submitted an application for validation of the elimination of LF as a public health problem. However, healthcare facility managers in some health regions – especially in the Savanes Region, have reported the presence of migrant groups from neighboring countries which are still endemic to LF – i.e. Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria. Migrants arrive and reside temporarily but recurrently in some localities of these regions. They constitute hotspots that can be source of resurgence, mainly because the nationwide passive surveillance has been stopped in 2016. 

In order to track all population movements that constitute a potential risk to the Republic of Togo, the country proposes to set up a strategy for the identification of these groups, with the contribution of Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Focal Points, followed by the research of potential parasite carriers. Isolated cases discovered will be investigated in order to track all imported W. bancrofti. They will be treated, but if an effective hotspot is discovered, rounds of Albendazole and Ivermectin MDA will be implemented a follow up of infected individuals will be maintained. 

The purpose of this study is to contribute maintaining the end of LF transmission across the country.

Countries: Togo

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