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Working to Incorporate NTD Care Into Health Systems & 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. 



A community drug distributor from partner organisation PNLMTN-CP registers children to receive treatment at a school in Côte d’Ivoire. Photo Credit: SCI Foundation/Yao Armel Kouassi

Lymphatic filariasis

Mental Illness Is a Common Comorbidity of Tropical Disease. How Can India’s Healthcare System Treat Both?

Aditi Murti
The Swaddle
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), lymphatic filariasis is the second most common cause of long-term disability, with the first being mental illness. However, mental illness, especially depression, is a well-known comorbidity of lymphatic filariasis due to the long-term disability caused by lymphedema (swelling of the limbs) or hydrocele (swelling of the scrotum). One in two people with filaria experience depression or anxiety, according to the WHO. . . The solution is to create a solid rural mental healthcare system that is easily accessible, affordable, and helps dispel stigma and aid community support for those who live with filaria.

The development of a capacity-strengthening program to promote self-care practices among people with lymphatic filariasis. . .

Solomon Abotiba Atinbire et al.
Infectious Diseases of Poverty
Self-care for lymphedema is feasible and a program of short workshops in this cascaded training program led to significant improvements. Efforts to maintain momentum and sustain what has been achieved so far, will include regular training and supervision to improve coverage, the provision of adequate resources for limb care at home, and the maintenance of district registers of lymphedema cases, which must be updated regularly.

Effect of Lymphatic Filariasis and Hookworm Infection on Pregnancy Course and Outcome in Women Living in the Democratic Republic

Jérémy T. Campillo et al.
The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
The positive association found between HAHT and lower risk of neonatal death warrants investigation in larger groups of women.


Video: Seeing is believing WHO & Ministry of Health in Uganda Production on onchocerciasis control in Uganda

World Health Organization
Onchocerciasis, also known as river blindness, is a disease caused by infection with the parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus. Symptoms include severe itching, bumps under the skin, and blindness. It is the second most common cause of blindness due to infection, after trachoma.


FGS Prevention in Côte D'Ivoire

SCI Foundation
In some areas of Côte d’Ivoire, even though the risk of FGS infection remains high, preventive services are not routinely available to women. This pilot study is taking place in seven health centres in Soubré district and aims to incorporate preventive treatment for FGS into the national health system. This strategy would ensure that women attending routine services for HIV/AIDS and female reproductive health, who are aged between 15 to 29 years old, are routinely offered FGS preventive treatment. The study looks to improve preventive treatment coverage in this at-risk group and to find the best approach for integration; this involves training the health workers to offer preventive treatment and to raise awareness of FGS prevention during routine consultations.

Mapping Schistosoma haematobium for Novel Interventions against Female Genital Schistosomiasis and Associated HIV Risk . . .

Mahala Livingston et al.
The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
To provide data for future prevention efforts against FGS and HIV, this study explored Schistosoma haematobium prevalence in girls and young women and the effects of antischistosomal MDA, respectively.

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Trichuris trichiura infection alters the gut microbial composition of mothers and children from Pemba Island, Tanzania

Daniel Parsons
Significant changes in gut microbial composition (gut dysbiosis) are induced by infection with the soil-transmitted helminth Trichuris trichiura, and [effects appear to be different in mothers and children] from Pemba Island, Tanzania.


Let's Talk About Neglected Tropical Diseases: Trachoma

Almudena Sanz Gutierrez
Global Health Next Generation Network
Two weeks ago, on 20th April, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Gambia had eliminated trachoma as a public health problem. Although this is great news for the global health community, to fully understand the relevance of it, it is crucial to talk about trachoma as a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) and about NTDs themselves still posing one of the greatest challenges for health equity.


Q&A with Maria Rebollo on the WHO/AFRO Mapping Project

The Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases is pleased to announce the publication of transformational research, “Baseline Mapping of Neglected Tropical Diseases in Africa: The Accelerated WHO/AFRO Mapping Project,” published in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. We caught up with Maria Rebollo, ESPEN team leader for the World Health Organization Africa and lead author, to learn more about the study and the results that were achieved.

Video: Impact of the AFRO Mapping Project: A Country Perspective from South Sudan

Makoy Samuel Yibi, Director for Guinea Worm Eradication, Preventive Chemotherapy, Neglected Tropical Diseases and Acting Manager for National Malaria Control Program Ministry of Health - RSS, Juba, describes the impact the AFRO Mapping Project has made on neglected tropical diseases in South Sudan.


Guinea Worm Wrap-up

WHO Collaborating Center for Dracunculiasis Eradication, Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Over 140 persons participated in the annual International Review Meeting of Guinea Worm Eradication Program Managers organized by The Carter Center in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) that occurred virtually on March 16-19, 2021.

Strongyloidiasis: the most neglected tropical disease in Ethiopia

Abebaw Tiruneh, Endalew Zemene and Zeleke Mekonnen
Infectious Diseases of Poverty
Strongyloidiasis appears to be the most neglected of the NTDs mainly due to nature of the infection, low sensitivity of the routine diagnostic tools and its exclusion from strategic plans and intervention programs.

How the winning idea of the NTD Hackathon was born-LF Pill Pack: A Cure for Misinformation

Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center
Then, on April 17 and 18, 2021, they joined 11 other teams of college students to compete. Over 24 hours, the students were asked to determine a solution for rumors around mass drug administration (MDA) or treatment-seeking behavior among those affected with NTDs. . . Their solution – the Pill Pack – addresses the concern over the lack of clear labeling and information about the disease.

Podcast: Global Health Matters

Global Health Matters is a new podcast that explores how innovative and inspiring research contributes to achieving health for all. Hosted by Dr. Garry Aslanyan with a variety of guests, the podcast discusses key questions, such as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on research, promoting gender equality and women in global health leadership, the pros and cons of open access to research, the role of implementation research and many other topics and issues.


'End is in sight': tackling a rare disease in a global pandemic

Thomson Reuters Foundation
BD News 24 (Bangladesh)
Last year's progress on Guinea worm came despite the impact on public health systems from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit efforts to tackle some NTDs, particularly where health workers were required to travel to sufferers.


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

The Faces of Global Health: Let’s Talk About Being Asian in Global Health
May 25, 2021
The Task Force for Global Health

LCNTDR webinar: Disease management, disability and inclusion: Why people-centred research is needed to beat NTDs
May 26, 2021

Rising to the challenge: A year of NTD programming and research during COVID
June 10, 2021
Neglected Tropical Disease NGO Network and the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases

Topics in Infection 2021
June 18, 2021
The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene

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

COR-NTD 2021 Virtual Meeting
November 8-10, 2021
Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases

American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting
November 17-21, 2021
American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases
March 6-9, 2022
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

FREE ONLINE COURSE: Eliminating Trachoma
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine 

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

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