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Uniting to Combat NTDs Releases Newest Progress Reports & 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

Impact Dashboard from Uniting to Combat NTDs

These dashboards are based on the best available data from the World Health Organization and our partners. They provide a simple view of progress in the control and elimination of the ten diseases prioritized under the London Declaration on NTDs.


Lymphatic filariasis

The social, physical and economic impact of lymphedema and hydrocele: a matched cross-sectional study in rural Nigeria

Obiora A. Eneanya, Tini Garske and Christl A. Donnelly
BMC Infectious Diseases
This study aimed to estimate patient numbers and characterise the physical, social and economic impact of [lymphatic filariasis, or] LF in rural Nigeria. . . Here we found that chronic LF patients when compared to healthy controls are affected by pain and discomfort, anxiety, reduced mobility, reduced ability to care for self (for instance daily body-washing), and are impaired in their usual domestic and occupational activities. This is an indication that morbidity due to LF alters routine daily activities and incapacitates infected individuals.


Economic evaluations of onchocerciasis interventions: a systematic review and research needs

Hugo C. Turner et al.
Tropical Medicine & International Health
We identified 14 primary studies reporting the results of economic evaluations of onchocerciasis interventions, 7 of which were cost‐effectiveness analyses. The studies identified used a variety of different approaches to estimate the costs of the investigated interventions/programmes. Originally, the studies only quantified the benefits associated with preventing blindness. Gradually, methods improved and also captured onchocerciasis‐associated skin disease. Studies found that eliminating onchocerciasis would generate billions in economic benefits.


Efficacy of China-made praziquantel for treatment of Schistosomiasis haematobium in Africa: A randomized controlled trial

Xin-Yao Wang et al.
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
The primary aim of our study was to evaluate the efficacy of China-made praziquantel to explore whether the drug could complement preventive chemotherapy programs in Africa. A randomized controlled trial was conducted assigning participants to two groups, one receiving praziquantel from [Nanjing Pharmaceutical Factory, or] NPF, the other from Merck KGaA. After one month, the cure rate of S. haematobium and were compared to evaluate effectiveness and document potential adverse events. The outcome showed that the two sources of praziquantel that did not differ significantly from each other. China-made praziquantel can thus be trusted to complement the current use of the drug from Merck KGaA in Africa making it possible to enlarge drug provision programs.

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Effects, equity, and cost of school-based and community-wide treatment strategies for soil-transmitted helminths in Kenya. . .

Rachel Pullan et al.
The Lancet
School-based deworming programmes can reduce morbidity attributable to soil-transmitted helminths in children but do not interrupt transmission in the wider community. We assessed the effects of alternative mass treatment strategies on community soil-transmitted helminth infection. . . Community-wide treatment was more effective in reducing hookworm prevalence and intensity than school-based treatment, with little additional benefit of treating every 6 months, and was shown to be remarkably equitable in coverage and effects.

Community-wide soil-transmitted helminth treatment is equity-effective

Jennifer Keiser and Jürg Utzinger
The Lancet
In an Article in The Lancet, Rachel Pullan and colleagues. . . did a large, cluster-randomised trial, comparing three different treatment strategies: annual school-based intervention, treating all children aged 2–14 years (current standard), and annual or biannual community-wide treatment. . . We commend the authors for a well designed, timely, and definitive study. Together with additional evidence that will arise from ongoing DeWorm3 trials in Benin, India, and Malawi, this study will undoubtedly shape the post-2020 strategy for the control and elimination of soil-transmitted helminths and other neglected tropical diseases.

Diagnosis and drug resistance of human soil-transmitted helminth infections: A public health perspective

Polydor NgoyMutombo et al.
Advances in Parasitology
This review discusses available diagnostic methods for the different stages of STH control programmes, which vary in sensitivity and spectrum of detection requirements, and tools to evaluate drug efficacy and resistance.


Prevalence of active trachoma and associated risk factors among children of the pastoralist population in Madda Walabu. . .

Kemal Kassim et al.
BMC Infectious Diseases
The findings of this study revealed that close to one-quarter of the total children screened for trachoma were positive for the disease. The finding implies that trachoma is still a major concern among children of the pastoralist community which demands further attention of the district health office. Again, intervention with the A, F and E components of SAFE strategy is strongly recommended.


New approach to tracking progress and strengthening collective action on NTDs

Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases
The neglected tropical diseases (NTD) community has collaborated to create two new tools to show the progress made in the fight against NTDs and to accelerate further progress through collective action. The first of the tools – our Impact Dashboards – present a snapshot of key NTD performance indicators in an interactive online format. The second tool – the Action Framework – encourages discussions on the issues behind the numbers. The Action Framework highlights opportunities across diseases to share what is working well and to encourage partners to join forces to address common challenges. These two tools represent the work of over a hundred individuals from dozens of NTD stakeholder organizations over the past two years.

New Framework to Assess Progress Against Neglected Tropical Diseases

The Task Force for Global Health
Since its formation six years ago, Uniting has produced an annual scorecard and report to celebrate progress and highlight the principal challenges to control, eliminate or eradicate certain NTDs by 2020 – a timeline that the World Health Organization (WHO) set as part of a comprehensive action plan in 2012. . . “Last year, we gathered broad input and put together a group that could drill down into the feedback. That is how the scorecard evolved into the Action Framework and Impact Dashboard,” says Joanna Pritchard, MA, who manages the scorecard project at the Task Force. Instead of one scorecard, stakeholders now have the Action Framework and the Impact Dashboard to quantify and qualify outcomes as a community.


Alarm as leprosy cases rise years after elimination

Gatonye Gathura
Standard Digital (Kenya)
Cases of leprosy are on the rise despite the disease having been eliminated from the country in 1989. The warning is contained in a report published on April 22, by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO). The report says leprosy cases have been on the rise since 2012 with risk of contracting the disease high in Kwale, Kilifi and Homa Bay counties.

Epidemiological features of a recent zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis outbreak in Zagora province, southern Morocco

Adil El Hamouchi
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ZCL) caused by Leishmania major is endemic in Morocco, especially in the arid pre-Saharan regions. Its main characteristics are rurality and proneness to epidemics. Zagora province an endemic focus for ZCL has been recently the scene of an important CL outbreak. Data analysis of 4,402 CL patients recorded in Zagora province, from October 2017 till Mars 2018 showed that 24 municipalities were affected to different extents; the important percent of cases belonged to Tinouzline, a rural municipality. While all age group patients were affected, children under 10 years old were the most affected.

Wolbachia mosquitoes released in the Western Division

Maggie Boyle
FBC News (Fiji)
Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete released the Western division’s first batch of Wolbachia mosquitoes in Narewa Village, Nadi. . . Wolbachia mosquitoes are expected to overtake mosquitoes carrying dengue, chikungunya and zika, via interbreeding. Dr. Waqainabete commended this biological innovation as a safe and excellent strategy to reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases, particularly in the Western division, which has been a notable hotspot.

Upcoming Events 

Women Deliver 2019 Conference
June 3-6, 2019, Vancouver, Canada
The Women Deliver 2019 Conference – the world’s largest gathering on the health, rights, and wellbeing of women and girls – will serve as a fueling station for advocates working to achieve a more gender equal world. In the summer of 2019, over 6,000 world leaders, influencers, advocates, academics, activists, and journalists will flock to Vancouver with dreams of accelerating progress girls and women everywhere.

Bill Foege Global Health Awards
June 6, 2019, Atlanta, Georgia
MAP International annually presents the Bill Foege Global Health Awards to recognize people and organizations whose contributions to the progress of global health measure substantially. Leaders in the global health community consider Dr. Bill Foege as a folk hero in the global health community, crediting him as "the man most responsible for eradicating smallpox."

WHO AFRO NTD Biennial Programme Managers Meeting
July 15-19, 2019, Location TBA
Please hold the week of July 15, 2019 as the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa will be holding its Biennial NTD Programme Managers Meeting. This meeting will focus on Preventive Chemotherapy and Case Management diseases. We will be in touch soon to confirm the location and share all relevant documents.

11th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health
September 16-20, 2019, Liverpool, UK 
RSTMH is hosting the 11th ECTMIH in 2019, on behalf of the Federation of European Societies for Tropical Medicine and International Health (FESTMIH), at the ACC in Liverpool, UK. Every two years, ECTMIH 2019 brings together more than 1,500 scientists and experts from across the world. The Congress provides a platform for sharing research and innovation in the field of tropical medicine and global health.

The 10th NTD NGO Network (NNN) Conference
September 17-19, 2019, Liverpool, UK 
The chosen theme for the 2019 conference is 'Our vision beyond 2020: many partners, one voice'

6th International Symposium on One Health Research
September 18-19, 2019, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
An opportunity for foreign scientists to interact closely with high-ranking Mongolian leaders who specialize in human and animal research leading to numerous research collaborations and discoveries.

Sustainability & Development Conference
October 11-14, 2019, Ann Arbor, MI
The conference is supported by several University of Michigan departments, as well as the journal World Development. It will cover a suite of key themes related tosustainability and development, but broadly focuses on the many global efforts to realize the SDGs and to assess the outcomes of SDG interventions.

ASTMH 68th Annual Meeting
November 20-24, 2019, National Harbor, Maryland
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. 

Epidemics7: International Conference on Infectious Disease Dynamics
December 3-6, 2019, Charleston, SC
Join us for the Seventh International Conference on Infectious Disease Dynamics to share another three days of intense dialogue on our ideas, data, insight, models and methods. This conference regularly attracts over 400 scientists, with representatives from many of the major research groups in this area worldwide. If you want to meet many of your peers in this field, this is the place to go. 

11th IAPB General Assembly
October 12-14, 2020, Singapore
The General Assembly will mark the end of the VISION 2020: The Right to Sight period. It will present a great opportunity to take stock, celebrate successes and make plans for the future. A key focus will be on the WHO’s World Report on Vision and its framework for the future. The event will have three co-chairs leading on three streams: “Excellence”, “Eye Health in the West Pacific” and “Sustainability”. 

Expo 2020 Dubai: Global Best Practice Programme
October 20 2020 - April 10, 2021
Expo 2020 Dubai’s platform to showcase projects that have provided tangible solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. It will highlight simple but effective initiatives, which localise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and can be adapted, replicated, and scaled to achieve an enhanced global impact. Proposals will be accepted from now until 30 May 2019.