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WHO Issues Vaccine Equity Declaration, Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium Receives New Investments & 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.  

Mallam Aminu Mohammed runs a training session on how to distribute NTD medication with COVID-19 precautions.

Photo credit: Sightsavers

Lymphatic filariasis

Govt. of Odisha is committed to Eliminate Filaria from state

Orissa Diary (India)
Berhampur: The Department of Health and Family welfare, Government of Odisha, will organize Mass Drug Administration (MDA) for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis in the districts from 25th February to 6th March 2021. In this regards, a media sensitization workshop was organized in the district by the Health department in collaboration with WHO and Global Health Strategies on February 23, 2021. The objective of this workshop was to ensure dissemination of information highlighting the debility caused by Lymphatic Filariasis, so that people can get accurate information about this serious disease. Through a video appeal message, Sri. Naba Kishore Das, Hon’ble Minister, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Odisha, appealed to the public to consume anti-filaria drugs administered during MDA program in the districts in the presence of the drug administrator.

Evaluating context-specific . . . intervention on LF mass drug administration in Northern Ghana using the RE-AIM framework

Alfred Kwesi Manyeh, Tobias Chirwa, Rohit Ramaswamy, Frank Baiden and Latifat Ibisomi
Tropical Medicine and Health
The evaluation findings showed an improvement in social mobilisation and sensitisation, knowledge about lymphatic filariasis and mass drug administration process, willingness to ingest the medication and adherence to the direct observation treatment strategy

Interruption of lymphatic filariasis transmission in Manaus, a former focus of Wuchereria bancrofti in the . . . Amazon

Marilaine Martins, Rebeca Cristina Souza Guimarães and Gilberto Fontes
Rev Panam Salud Publica
Although Manaus was once considered endemic, this focus no longer seems to be active for lymphatic filariasis transmission. The results of this study could support the certification by the World Health Organization of the lymphatic filariasis transmission elimination exercise in Brazil.

Delays in lymphatic filariasis elimination programmes due to COVID-19, and possible mitigation strategies

Joaquín M. Prada et al.
Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
In general, a short delay in the programme does not cause a major delay in achieving the goals. Impact is strongest in high-endemicity areas. Mitigation strategies such as biannual treatment or increased coverage are key to minimizing the impact of the disruption once the programme resumes and lead to potential acceleration should these enhanced strategies be maintained.

Mali Site Completes Treatment Milestone in LEDoxy Study

Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center
December 2020 saw the completion of "A 24 Month Study, to Compare the Efficacy of Doxycycline vs. Placebo for Improving Filarial Lymphedema in Mali (LeDoxy-Mali)." The purpose of the study was to evaluate how well the antibiotic doxycycline, when added to intensive hygiene management, alleviated the symptoms of lymphedema caused by the parasitic infection lymphatic filariasis.

Activities for Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination in Kenya

Eisai Global
Mass drug administration (MDA) was carried out aiming to cover 3.5 million residents at risk of LF infection in Kenya, one of the countries where Eisai provides DEC tablets, in December 2020. The MDA, which was postponed due to COVID-19, was finally resumed in December with the efforts of Kenya's neglected tropical disease (NTD) control officials after implementing measures against COVID-19 infection. In addition to providing DEC tablets for free, Eisai also provided masks and sanitizers for COVID-19 infection control in conducting the MDA. The sanitizers were procured from Saraya Co., Ltd.'s Uganda plant in Africa. In addition to the support for the MDA, Eisai has also provided water tanks in collaboration with Merck to supply clean water for Kenya’s NTDs endemic regions where it is difficult to secure clean water. The tanks are installed in the endemic areas which are designated by the Ministry of Health of Kenya.

Onchocerciasis

Drugs that target early stages of Onchocerca volvulus: A revisited means to facilitate the elimination goals for onchocerciasis

Shabnam Jawahar, Nancy Tricoche, Christina A. Bulman, Judy Sakanari and Sara Lustigman
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
lternative and/or complementary treatment regimens as part of a more comprehensive strategy to eliminate onchocerciasis are needed. We posit that the addition of “prophylactic” drugs or therapeutic drugs that can be utilized in a prophylactic strategy to the toolbox of present microfilaricidal drugs and/or future macrofilaricidal treatment regimens will not only improve the chances of meeting the elimination goals but may hasten the time to elimination and also will support achieving a sustained elimination of onchocerciasis. These “prophylactic” drugs will target the infective third- (L3) and fourth-stage (L4) larvae of Onchocerca volvulus and consequently prevent the establishment of new infections not only in uninfected individuals but also in already infected individuals and thus reduce the overall adult worm burden and transmission. Importantly, an effective prophylactic treatment regimen can utilize drugs that are already part of the onchocerciasis elimination program (ivermectin), those being considered for MDA (moxidectin), and/or the potential macrofilaricidal drugs (oxfendazole and emodepside) currently under clinical development.

Using GIS Software for innovative field research

Sightsavers
Sightsavers has been using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and satellite imagery to help treat river blindness among nomadic groups.

Schistosomiasis

GHIT and EDCTP co-invest additional 7.8 million Euro in the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium's access program to ensure . . .

Global Health Innovative Technology Fund
The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT) and The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) jointly announced new co-investments of JPY 262 million (EUR 2.1 million) for two years and EUR 5.7 million for five years, respectively, in the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium's ADOPT[1] program – an implementation research study to prepare for the large-scale access and delivery of the Consortium’s novel pediatric medication in endemic countries. . . . Although an effective existing treatment—in the form of PZQ tablets— is available, the tablets are difficult for pre-school-age children (PSAC) to swallow, have an unpleasant bitter taste, and cannot be administered by crushing the tablet. The PZQ Consortium, a global public-private partnership established in 2012, has developed an affordable, PSAC-friendly orally dispersible PZQ tablet formulation for schistosomiasis. The project is in Phase III, with a pivotal trial under way in Kenya and Ivory Coast to generate confirmatory data for registration.

Effect of intensive treatment for schistosomiasis on immune responses to vaccines among rural Ugandan island adolescents. . .

Gyaviira Nkurunungi et al.
BMJ Open
We have designed an individually randomised, parallel group trial of intensive versus standard praziquantel (PZQ) intervention against schistosomiasis, to determine effects on vaccine response outcomes among school-going adolescents (9–17 years) from rural Schistosoma mansoni-endemic Ugandan islands.

Polyparasitism with Schistosoma haematobium, Plasmodium and STHs in school-aged children . . .Cameroon following implementation

Irene Ule Ngole Sumbele et al.
Infectious Diseases of Poverty
Polyparasitism is a public health problem in Muyuka with females most at risk. Anaemia prevalence is exacerbated in co- and triple-infections and together with a history of fever are of value in predicting polyparasitism.

Rethinking the Top-Down Approach to Schistosomiasis Control and Elimination in Sub-Saharan Africa

Adeola Onasanya, Michel Bengtson, Oladimeji Oladepo, Jo Van Engelen and Jan Carel Diehl
Frontiers in Public Health
This paper highlights the challenges of praziquantel-focused policy for schistosomiasis control and new ways to move from schistosomiasis control to elimination in sub-Saharan Africa. We will also discuss an alternative and diversified approach that consists of a Systems Thinking Framework that embraces intersectoral collaboration fully and includes co-creating locally relevant strategies with affected communities.

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Household finished flooring and soil-transmitted helminth and Giardia infections among children in rural Bangladesh and Kenya

Jade Benjamin-Chung et al.
The Lancet Global Health
In low-resource settings, living in households with finished floors over a 2-year period was associated with lower prevalence of G duodenalis and some soil-transmitted helminths in children.

Prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections and associated factors among patients attending Sanja Primary Hospital Ethiopia

Tahir Eyayu et al.
PLOS One
The present study showed that the prevalence of intestinal parasitosis is high in the study area. Therefore, there is a need for an integrated control program, including improving personal, environmental sanitation and health education should be given to have a lasting impact on transmission.

VIDEO: Can deworming at prenatal clinics prevent morbidity from infections from STHs in women of reproductive age?

NTD Modelling Consortium STH Team
London Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research
Soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) are a major cause of poor health in low- and middle-income countries. In particular, hookworm is known to cause anaemia in children and women of reproductive age (WRA). One goal of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2030 roadmap for neglected tropical diseases is to reduce STH-related morbidity in WRA. Using mathematical models we show that deworming adolescent girls annually during human papilloma virus vaccination programmes and women of reproductive age during pregnancy and lactation can reduce morbidity by up to 20%. These routine interventions are low cost can be implemented in basic health services in endemic countries.

Trachoma

Restoring sight: In the midst of a pandemic, Nigeria battles to end a painful blinding disease

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani and Nita Bhalla
Thomson Reuters Foundation (Nigeria/Kenya)
"The COVID pandemic had a negative impact on NTD programming in Nigeria, but we were still able to make some deliverables and carry out interventions in the communities such as trachoma surgeries last year," Anyaike said. ... Even when Nigeria imposed a five-week lockdown, leaving trachoma patients unable to visit clinics, community health workers equipped with masks delivered antibiotics to their homes. ... While in north-western Katsina state, eye surgeon Kabir Yahaya took to his motorcycle to provide post-surgery care to TT patients in their homes.

WASH Upgrades for Health in Amhara (WUHA): study protocol for a cluster randomised trial in Ethiopia

Dionna M Wittberg et al.
BMJ Open
Facial hygiene promotion and environmental improvements are central components of the global trachoma elimination strategy despite a lack of experimental evidence supporting the effectiveness of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) measures for reducing trachoma transmission. The objective of the WUHA (WASH Upgrades for Health in Amhara) trial is to evaluate if a comprehensive water improvement and hygiene education programme reduces the prevalence of ocular chlamydia infection in rural Africa

Lessons learned for surveillance strategies for trachoma elimination as a public health problem, from the evaluation of approach

Laura Senyonjo, Philip Downs, Elena Schmidt, Robin Bailey and Karl Blanchet
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
The experiences of both the Guinea worm and onchocerciasis surveillance strategies have very useful lessons for trachoma surveillance, pre- and post-validation. The use of a monetary reward for identification of TT cases and further exploration into the use of infection and serological indicators particularly in a post-validation setting to assist in identifying recrudescence would be of particular relevance. The next step would be a real-world evaluation of their relative applicability for trachoma surveillance.

Children as messengers of health knowledge? Impact of health promotion and water infrastructure in schools on facial cleanliness

Xinyi Chen, Beatriz Munoz, Harran Mkocha, Meraf A. Wolle and Sheila K. West
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Primary school health messages and materials on trachoma were not associated with clean faces or lower rates of trachoma in the community.

Modelling trachoma post-2020: opportunities for mitigating the impact of COVID-19 and accelerating progress towards elimination

Anna Borlase et al.
Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
We demonstrate that for districts that were hyperendemic at baseline, or where the trachoma elimination thresholds have not already been achieved after three rounds of MDA, the interruption to planned MDA could lead to a delay to reaching elimination targets greater than the duration of interruption. We also show that an additional round of MDA in the year following MDA resumption could effectively mitigate this delay. For districts where the probability of elimination under annual MDA was already very low, we demonstrate that more intensive MDA schedules are needed to achieve agreed targets.

AUDIO: Washing Machines on Wheels to Prevent Trachoma

National Indigenous Radio Service (Australia)
Australia is the only developed country in the world to have endemic trachoma, almost all of the country’s cases occur in remote Aboriginal communities. The new initiative includes a mobile trailer with two washing machine and dryer units designed to withstand the tough conditions of remote WA. Project leader Dr Melissa Stoneham from Curtin University’s School of Public Health says the project reinforces methods of preventing trachoma.

Cross-cutting

Inside Kenya's plan to eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases by 2030

Magdaline Saya
The Star (Kenya)
The Health ministry has embarked on an ambitious plan to eradicate these diseases.

Rethinking neglected tropical disease prevalence survey design and analysis: a geospatial paradigm

Peter J Diggle, Benjamin Amoah, Claudio Fronterre, Emanuele Giorgi and Olatunji Johnson
Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Current methods for the design and analysis of neglected tropical disease prevalence surveys largely rely on classical survey sampling ideas that treat prevalence data from different locations as an independent random sample from the probability distribution induced by a random sampling design. We set out an alternative, explicitly geospatial paradigm that can deliver much more precise estimates of the geospatial variation in prevalence over a country or region of interest. We describe the advantages of this approach under three headings: streamlining, whereby more precise results can be obtained with smaller sample sizes; integrating, whereby a joint analysis of data from two or more diseases can bring further gains in precision; and adapting, whereby the choice of future sampling location is informed by past data.

Comparative Assessment of the Pharmacovigilance Systems within the Neglected Tropical Diseases Programs in East Africa—Ethiopia

Abbie Barry et al.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Monitoring the safety of medicines used in public health programs (PHPs), including the neglected tropical diseases (NTD) program, is a WHO recommendation, and requires a well-established and robust pharmacovigilance system. The objective of this study was to assess the pharmacovigilance systems within the NTD programs in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania. The East African Community Harmonized Pharmacovigilance Indicators tool for PHPs was used to interview the staff of the national NTD programs.

Mapping the role of digital health technologies in the case detection, management, and treatment outcomes of NTDs

Binyam Tilahun et al.
Tropical Medicine and Health
A total of 996 potentially relevant studies were generated from the initial search, and six studies were found to satisfy all the inclusion criteria and included in the final review. The review found that telehealth, eHealth, mHealth, telemedicine, and electronic health record were used digital health technologies to assess their impact on case detection, disease management, and treatment outcome of neglected tropical diseases. Mobile health was a feasible digital health technology for lymphatic filariasis patient identification and mHealth, eHealth, and electronic health records found to improve the service access, outcomes, and monitoring of visceral leishmaniasis at the community health system.

The Impact of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) on Women’s Health and Wellbeing in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). . .Kenya

Elizabeth A. Ochola, Susan J. Elliott and Diana M.S. Karanja
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
This paper examines the impact of NTDs on women’s health and wellbeing in SSA using Kenya as a case study. This research is part of a larger research program designed to examine the impact of NTDs on the health and wellbeing of populations in Kenya. Thematic analysis of key informants’ interviews (n = 21) and focus groups (n = 5) reveals first that NTDs disproportionately affect women and girls due to their assigned gender roles and responsibilities. Second, women face financial and time constraints when accessing health care due to diminished economic power and autonomy. Third, women suffer more from the related social consequences of NTDs (that is, stigma, discrimination and/or abandonment), which affects their health-seeking behavior.

Working to end neglected tropical diseases in our lifetimes

Olam's Edible Nuts
The End Fund
Olam – comprising Olam Food Ingredients (OFI) and Olam Global Agri (OGA) – has partnered with The END Fund – the only private philanthropic initiative solely dedicated to ending the most common NTDs – to improve the lives of people affected by these diseases. Together, we have been working across Olam’s various supply chains in Africa – particularly cashew, as well as rice, grains, and other ingredients – to solve the burden of these diseases.

Winning the Global War against Neglected Tropical Diseases

Moses John Bockarie
Global Health Now
In June 2021, on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda will host a global Summit on Malaria and NTDs, providing an opportunity to galvanize renewed support and push for the elimination of NTDs. Government, private and multi-sector leaders will set the agenda for the next decade in the global fight against NTDs—and drive the political and multi-sectoral investment and action needed to catalyze greater endemic country ownership and participation, from the policy, programmatic, and financial perspectives. We anticipate that after the summit in Kigali, all efforts will be aligned with the WHO 2030 Roadmap so that 90% of people who require treatment for at least 1 NTD can receive treatment by 2030. That will require scaling

Changing behaviours to end NTDs in Nepal, one radio listener at a time

Laura McLean
Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases
The new radio drama series has been the most unique NTD intervention. Initially planned as a series of street dramas, following the outbreak of the pandemic, the performances have been converted into a radio show to communicate awareness of NTDs through the stories of Sabin, Tara, Bishwa, Prakash and Manoj. With a total of 36 episodes playing on a weekly basis across 20 national radio stations the messages are reaching approximately ten million people. To date, the radio show has proved effective as an education tool and in changing behaviours, particularly in its far-reaching accessibility to hard-to-reach areas that otherwise might get left behind. Each episode is translated into ten local languages to ensure the widest reach possible. By using storytelling as a mechanism to convey public health concerns, the messages both entertain and inform, resonating with a wider range of listeners than conventional methods. The show also spreads awareness amongst the 32% of the population that have low levels of literacy and would otherwise be omitted from written forms of communication.

The Birth of a Hackathon

Medium
On April 17, 2021, The Task Force for Global Health (TFGH) will hold its first-ever hackathon, led by the Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center (NTD-SC). To devise the problem to be solved, TFGH called upon the expertise of the brand new Neglected Tropical Disease Program Manager Community of Practice in Africa. The group bought into the concept and were challenged with the question, “What problem would you like to see solved?”

Zero Discrimination in MDA - reaching all children with disabilities to beat NTDs

Anouk Gouvras
Global Schistosomiasis Alliance
So why is it that MDAs for diseases like schistosomiasis (SCH) and soil transmitted helminths (STH) do not include all children with disabilities? Children with disabilities get worms too…right? The key question is: who gets missed and why? There are several barriers to the inclusion of all children in MDA that is primarily delivered via schools: They are not in school; or They are not in the schools that the State lists for treatment; or They are not physically able to take the tablets.

A Catalyst for NTD Sustainability in Ghana

Act to End NTDs | West
By the meeting's end, participants developed 30- and 60-day action plans to advance NTD sustainability in Ghana. After the meeting, and per the 30-day plan, the NTDP, with Act | West support, analyzed the NTD landscape to identify key NTD sustainability stakeholders, barriers, and opportunities in Ghana. The analysis will inform the NTDP’s assessment of program sustainability and milestones, and serve as a key input to Ghana’s NTD sustainability plan. The 60-day plan called for the revitalization of the previously dormant Intra-Country Coordination Committee (ICCC) to serve as a multisector platform for NTD coordination. Following those recommendations, in 2020, with support from Act | West, the NTDP led a consultative road map development process to identify priorities and interventions for the ICCC, including multisectoral engagement and coordination of the sustainability plan implementation. The ICCC was then revamped, approved, and relaunched by the Minister of Health Kwaku Agyemang-Manu in October 2020. With the ICCC in place, the NTD Ambassador will continue her engagement to increase NTD visibility. In 2021, she plans to host a high-level stakeholder event to raise the profile of Ghana’s NTD sustainability plan among government officials and international donors.

Other

Adaptation and performance of a mobile application for early detection of cutaneous leishmaniasis

Luisa Rubiano et al.
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Using participatory and human centered-design methods, we developed a mobile application for Android smartphones that supports community health workers to screen potential cases of CL in rural settings. We developed this application using a previously validated clinical prediction rule and tested it with patients, community workers and health workers in the municipality of Tumaco on the Pacific Coast of Colombia. Results from this study showed that the mobile app was easy to use, could detect cutaneous leishmaniasis in over 95% of cases, and reduced the time to diagnosis by half compared to passive case detection dependent on consultation at referral facilities.

Eradicating Dracunculiasis: The Carter Center Moves Closer to Defeating Guinea Worm Disease

The Carter Center
Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of human Guinea worm cases was cut in half to just 27* in 2020.

Childhood Trauma Instills Resiliency in Guinea Worm Warrior

The Carter Center
The Rwanda-born physician chose instead to devote his talents to public health. As the Carter Center’s country representative for Chad, in Africa’s semi-arid Sahel region, he leads a team of scientists and village volunteers battling Guinea worm, a disease of poverty, in one of its last strongholds. . . . Zirimwabagabo has further career ambitions, but his focus now is on figuring out how dogs are becoming infected with Guinea worm and how to stop it. It’s a vexing puzzle, but he and the Carter Center team, along with the government of Chad, are rising to the challenge of solving it. They are carrying out robust research and have promoted cash rewards for identifying cases, greatly increased the number of water sources treated with larvicide, and intensified educational and behavioral interventions. The sharply improved infection numbers are the result.

VIDEO: Fear and Loathing of Leprosy

Voice of America
This week on Healthy Living, we delve into leprosy and how in Ethiopia, people with the disease face stigma and challenges.

PATH and the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative launch a $30M global project to . . . fight malaria

PATH
PATH is pleased to announce that it has been chosen to lead the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative’s (PMI) new five-year $30 million operational research and program evaluation project to help partner countries ensure they are making the most effective and efficient use of resources to fight malaria and save lives. Through strong collaboration with in-country research institutions, PMI Insights for Malaria (INFORM) will generate evidence and data to inform national malaria programs and the global malaria community of best practices, while strengthening research capacity in PMI-supported countries.

Apply for the Alan J. Magill Fellowship

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
In keeping with the prominent roles displayed throughout Alan Magill’s life, the Magill Fellowship: Will support mentorship, career and/or leadership development projects for ASTMH members in the early to middle stage of mid-career in low/low-middle income countries focusing on leadership development in tropical medicine; Stipulates that the selected Magill Fellow will work closely with a mentor (ideally an ASTMH member) who will play a prominent role in developing and executing the Fellow’s two-year plan of activities; Will provide funding of $50,000 USD for a period of up to two years to one recipient.

Call for Nominations: Scientific Research Representative for GPZL Leadership Team

Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy
GPZL is seeking nominations for a representative of the scientific community to serve a two-year term, renewable once, on its Leadership Team. The term will begin on 1 April 2021. Leadership team members are asked to attend two meetings per year (held virtually until further notice). They also will receive weekly email updates and participate in monthly teleconferences. Researchers in leprosy-endemic countries are encouraged to apply. Kindly send a short bio to Secretariat Director, Bill Gallo, by 1 March.

ASTMH Distinguished International Fellow

Buffy Finn
The American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene
ASTMH Distinguished International Fellow formally recognizes up to eight individuals who have made eminent contributions to a particular aspect of tropical medicine or hygiene. Application deadline: March 22, 2021

Call for Applications: Small Grants Programme

The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene
IACS will fund one RSMTH research project on scabies and welcome applications focused on tackling the scabies research priorities. Applications for the 2021 grants round are now open and close on 15 April.

COVID-19

Vaccine Equity Declaration

World Health Organization
In January 2021, WHO issued a call to all countries to work together in solidarity – and in each of their best interests – to ensure that within the first 100 days of the year, vaccination of health workers and older people was underway in all countries. This call to action is at the heart of WHO's campaign for #VaccinEquity. Join the campaign to call on countries and companies to ensure that by the time World Health Day arrives on 7 April, COVID-19 vaccines are being administered in every country, as a symbol of hope for overcoming both the pandemic and the inequalities that lie at the root of so many global health challenges.

Our NTD experience will be invaluable for COVID vaccine rollout

Simon Bush
Sightsavers
Restarting the distribution of neglected tropical disease (NTD) preventative treatments in Africa can teach us a lot about the rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine. The battle to deliver vaccines for COVID-19 around the world is on. We’ve only just begun, but the true complexity of the task ahead as well as the consequences of not reaching everyone, or ‘leaving no-one behind’ – so familiar to those working to tackle NTDs – has taken on a new relevance.

CDC Taps The Task Force’s Expertise to Roll Out COVID-19 Vaccine in up to 50 Countries

The Task Force for Global Health
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has invested an initial $10.7 million in The Task Force for Global Health to help up to 50 low- and middle-income countries with COVID-19 immunization programs. The investment includes $3.5 million for the Global Health Crisis Coordination Center to launch COVIED, an information equity program to ensure COVID-19 vaccine information is accurate, trusted, culture-specific, and equally accessible for all communities and demographics in the U.S.

Ending the neglect – integrating approaches to disease elimination

Simon Bland
SciDev.Net
Highlights: Focus on COVID-19 is jeopardising progress on neglected tropical diseases; Cross-cutting approach to disease control and elimination is needed; Certain drugs have the potential to tackle multiple diseases.

The good news about the global vaccine supply

Adam Taylor
The Washington Post
This week, a cargo plane arrived at the international airport in Ghana carrying a global message: 600,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine developed in Britain and manufactured in India, with needles sourced from Dubai. The delivery was part of an international initiative backed by 165 countries, but the lives it would save were Ghanaian. The Oxford-AstraZeneca doses that arrived in Accra on Wednesday mean that Ghana, a lower-middle-income country with a population of 31 million, can begin vaccinations next week.

Fraying Ropes: COVID-19’s Impact on Gender Inequality

Raj Panjabi
Exemplars in Global Health
We are seeing that now, and early evidence indicates that women will likely pay a disproportionately high price for the COVID-19 pandemic.

UPCOMING EVENTS

NOTE - Events may be postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check with event organizers to confirm events.

FREE ONLINE COURSE: Improving the Health of Women, Children and Adolescents: from Evidence to Action.
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine 

FREE ONLINE COURSE: Neglected tropical diseases in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: impact and guidance
World Health Organization

World Lymphedema Day
March 6, 2021
Lymphatic Education & Research Network

#ChooseToChallenge inequity in NTD research: why we need more African women in NTD research and what we can do about it
March 8, 2021
The International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases

Prevention of Disease and Injury From Waterborne Pathogens in an Emergent Health Crisis Special Session
March 9-10, 2021
NSF and the National Environmental Health Association

Innovation & Project Design Webinar
March 10, 2021
Ascend Innovation Fund

CUGH Conference: Addressing Critical Gaps in Global Health and Development
March 12-14, 2021
Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy

Quality, Speed & Equity: Delivering COVID-19 Vaccines to the World
March 15, 2021
World Health Organization, USP, and Sabin Vaccine Institute

ISNTD Festival 2021
March 24-25, 2021
International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases

World Health Day
April 7, 2021
World Health Organization

XVI Workshop on Chagas Disease
April 15-16, 2021
Instituto de Salud Global de Barcelona

Spread Truth, Not Disease Hackathon
April 17-18, 2021
The Task Force for Global Health

30th Annual Molecular Parasitology & Vector Biology Symposium
May 4, 2021
Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases, University of Georgia

Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting 2021 
June 20-26, 2021
The Commonwealth

World Field Epidemiology Day 
September 7, 2021
Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network

NTD NGO Network Conference 2021
September 7-9, 2021
Neglected Tropical Disease NGO Network