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.
Sustaining the Gains of NTD elimination programs through focused support of community drug distributors
To sustain the gains of active community drug distributors (CDDs) by enhancing their performance through intervention at the individual, community and primary health care center levels to reach NTD elimination and control goals.
Integrating use of point-of-care circulating cathodic antigen rapid diagnostic by community health workers during mass drug administration campaign to increase uptake of praziquantel treatment among adult populations in North-Western Tanzania
To assess if introducing point-of-care Circulating Cathodic Antigen rapid test to community health workers will increase access, compliance and coverage to treatment among adult individuals at Kome Island in North-Western Tanzania, an area on the Lake Victoria highly endemic for schistosomiasis
Investigation of possible ongoing Schistosoma hybridization in Nigeria and implications for response to treatment
To investigate the presence and epidemiology of Schistosoma hybrids in Nigeria. The acquisition of new genes through hybridization may generate new phenotypes that might differ in virulence, drug resistance, pathology, and host use, ultimately leading to the emergence of new diseases. Hybrids can develop into a new emerging pathogen, necessitating new control strategies in zones where both parental species overlap, an intense and rapid control response is required to minimize further spread of the hybrid and possible escalation of human schistosomiasis.
How do we motivate community drug distributors (CDDs)?
Which strategies best strengthen strategic decision making for resilient and responsive health systems at the district level in Ghana, Malawi, Uganda and Tanzania?
How to best support close-to-community providers in their critical interface role between health systems and communities
What are the best approaches to develop sustainable and equitable approaches to human resources for health, health financing and governance in post conflict health systems?
What are the most strategic approaches to building capacity for gender equity analysis in health systems?
Determine the best health systems approaches for:
1. Improved planning and delivery of integrated programmes;
2. Increased and sustained access to NTD drugs;
3. Harmonised inter-sectoral approach; and
4. Strong and generalisable evidence base for integrated elimination and control of NTDs.