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Zithromax(R) Management Guide & the Zithromax(R) Supply Chain Assessment Tool Released & 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.  

Zithromax Management Guide and Zithromax Supply Chain Assessment Tool

The International Trachoma Initiative (ITI) is delighted to present the online version of the Zithromax® Management Guide and the Zithromax® Supply Chain Assessment Tool in English. 


Lymphatic filariasis

TIPAC for Impact: Helping Countries Turn NTD Data into Powerful Messages for Program Sustainability

Act to End NTDs | West
Despite recent successes in countries such as Togo and Ghana, which achieved World Health Organization validation of elimination of lymphatic filariasis (in Togo, 2017) and trachoma (in Ghana, 2018), neglected tropical disease (NTD) control and elimination remain largely absent from national health plans and budgets—and those of other sectors—in most West African nations. As national Neglected Tropical Disease Programs (NTDP) work toward achieving programmatic sustainability, one of the challenges they face is to convince national decision-makers to make domestic investment in NTD control a national priority.

State tops in compliance of anti-Filariasis campaign

Saurav Roy
The Pioneer (India)
With a tribal population of 71 per cent, Simdega was selected for the [triple drug therapy, or] TDT in Jharkhand, which had no prior experience of running an MDA campaign, health officials said. The campaign was started January 14 this year and the results were encouraging, they added. The campaign was run here in collaboration with the Deputy Commissioner and various district level health officials at the grass root level. Anganwadi workers, Sahiyas and School Management Committees (SMCs) were also roped in for effective implementation of the campaign. Besides, door to door drug administration was also done, officials involved in the campaign said.


Medicines Development for Global Health Discloses Novo Nordisk as Purchaser of its Priority Review Voucher

“This is a very positive win-win situation; I truly believe that moxidectin is going to make an impact in reducing river blindness,” said Novo Nordisk Chief Science Officer Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen. “I hope our acquisition will help Medicines Development for Global Health in their endeavors to eliminate this debilitating disease affecting millions of people in low-income countries.”

Health ministry to carry out mass treatment of river blindness

Cecilia Okoth
New Vision (Uganda)
The Health Ministry is set to carry out mass treatment of river blindness in refugee settlements in Northern Uganda. This according to Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng is to rid the country of any potential threats of river blindness, also known as Onchocerciasis. “Uganda is one of the countries hosting the biggest number of refugees and I know that some of our sisters and brothers in refugee settlements came from onchocerciasis endemic areas and therefore need mass treatment,” Aceng said.

From river blindness to river epilepsy: Implications for onchocerciasis elimination programmes

Robert Colebunders et al.
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Current onchocerciasis elimination programmes do not include identification and management of onchocerciasis-associated epilepsy (OAE) in their strategies. Creating awareness about OAE will increase community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI) adherence, particularly in areas of high prevalence, while motivating funders and stakeholders not to relent their efforts in the fight against onchocerciasis. Strengthening onchocerciasis elimination efforts should be prioritised wherever epilepsy prevalence is high in order to reduce OAE-related morbidity and mortality.


Uganda on track to eliminate River Blindness by next year, but Struggles With Bilharzia

Patience Ahimbisibwe
The Monitor (Uganda)
The Health Minister, Dr Ruth Jane Aceng. . . added that they are mobilizing resources to commit to the fight against Bilharzia which is mainly affecting communities around Lakes; Victoria, Albert, George and Kyoga. Bilharzia is a water-borne disease also called schistosomiasis. It can damage the liver, kidney, cause infertility and bladder cancer. "Bilharzia is a big burden in the country. Bilharzia continues to be a re-emerging public problem. We have been intervening but as long as we still have the vector and the worm in the water, it is difficult to eliminate because this worm is transferred from one area to another through feaces," Dr Aceng said.

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Eswatini closer to elimination of intestinal worms as public health problem

Kevin Makadzange
World Health Organization
The Kingdom of Eswatini is getting closer to ending intestinal worms as a public health problem in line with the World Health Organization’s 2020 Roadmap on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). The country reached an impressive 98% of eligible school aged children with medicines for intestinal worms in the fourth round of Mass Medicine Administration (MMA) campaign conducted recently.

Parasitic Roundworm Infections Slashed by Water Treatment

Technology Networks
Roundworm infections can be reduced significantly simply by improving the treatment and quality of drinking water in high risk regions, according to an international team of researchers led by Tufts University. The discovery emerged from a two-year study, published in PloS Medicine, which examined the effects of water quality, sanitation, handwashing and nutritional interventions on rates of intestinal worm and Giardia infections in rural Kenya.

National Deworming Day campaign in Odisha, aims to reach more than one crore children for better health. . .

Odisha Diary (India)
Addressing the media, Director, Family Welfare, “Given the importance of deworming of children, any child who is not dewormed on National Deworming Day (8th August 2019) due to sickness or absenteeism will be administered the tablet on 16thAugust 2019(Mop up Day).” “In addition, the state government will implement the bi-annual Vitamin A supplementation campaign in August 2019. Under this programme all children from 9 months to 5 years will be administered age specific vitamin A dose at the Routine Immunization session sites,”he added.


Achieving equity in the Americas: How PAHO Member States are working to improve indigenous health

Martha Saboya
International Coalition for Trachoma Control
The Region of the Americas is characterized by a vibrant multi-ethnic and multi-cultural richness, which includes an estimated 45 million indigenous peoples from 826 indigenous, in addition to Afro-descendants and Roma communities. These communities are incredibly diverse in their cultural practices and spoken languages but too often share the experience of discrimination, poverty, and poor access to social services, including health and education. As a consequence, indigenous communities across the Americas are disproportionately affected by trachoma along with other development issues that trap communities in cycles of poverty.


DR Congo and Nigeria: New neglected tropical disease threats and solutions for the bottom 40%

Peter Hotez
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
New information indicates that two sub-Saharan Africa countries—the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and Nigeria—will be home to almost one-half of the world’s population living in extreme poverty by 2050. The poverty-related neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) already disproportionately affect DR Congo and Nigeria, but by 2050, extreme poverty combined with political instability, food insecurity, urbanization, population shifts, and climate change could make these countries the epicenter of the world’s NTDs.


92% of Ugandan health workers can’t treat snakebites – Study

Kampala Dispatch (Uganda)
Ninety two per cent health workers in the country lack the training to manage snake bite injuries, Dennis Kibira, the Executive Director for Coalition for Health Promotion and Social Development (HEPs) has revealed. According to Kibira, a study conducted in 2018 also shows that only 4 per cent health facilities across the country stock anti-venom. He explains that the study found that a lot of people don’t seek care at health facilities when bitten by snakes.

Reaching Critical Mass to End Scabies

Christine Tondorf
Globally, there are an estimated 455 million cases of scabies every year, and around 150 million people are affected at any time. Most at risk are children and the elderly in resource-poor and often overcrowded communities, particularly in tropical climates. But researchers have shown that treating whole communities with anti-scabies medication can almost eradicate the mite, and “mass drug administration” is now underway in Fiji.

Is dengue the new normal?

Saqib Sarker
Dhaka Tribune (Bangladesh)
As the unprecedented dengue outbreak in the country continues to unfurl, data indicate that a bigger threat might be lurking in the shadow of current crisis. The outbreak has direct correlation with the relentless unplanned urbanization, which caused “an imbalance in the existing ecology that has led to increase in dengue cases in 2016 and the emergence of the chikungunya virus for the first time in Bangladesh in 2017,” a study published this year in Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology stated.

A Rare, Brain-Swelling Virus Has Been Detected in East Coast Mosquitos

Emma Betuel
In a statement released Wednesday by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, officials are warning that 92 local mosquito samples have tested positive for a rare but dangerous virus called Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV). In humans, it can cause a type of brain inflammation called Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). The illness is extremely rare — the CDC notes that an average of only seven cases are reported in the US each year — but it is dangerous. In 30 percent of cases, it can be fatal.

Vida Pharmacal Delivers First Cure for Canine Chagas Disease

Yahoo! Finace
Vida Pharmacal®, a developer of pharmaceuticals targeting Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), today announced the first cure for canine Chagas disease. Its multicenter field study, Successful Treatment of Canine Chagas Disease, was published in the prestigious Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, August 1, 2019. For the first time, a treatment protocol significantly increased survivability and clinical improvement in treated dogs. "We're incredibly encouraged by the study results," said Roy Madigan D.V.M., Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Vida Pharmacal. "Survivability of treated canine patients increased to 95.3%, compared to 53% of control patients. Treated dogs also experienced 98.2% clinical improvement, compared to 27% of control patients. The protocol offers hope to millions of dogs and potentially, people."

This Handy New Device Might Help KO Cholera

Joe Palca
Goats and Soda
What if you could put a drop of water into a miniature laboratory — not much bigger than a smartphone — and find out whether the water contains the bacterium that causes cholera? A simple test like that could help prevent outbreaks of the disease, which sickens as many as 4 million and kills up to 143,000 each year, mostly in poorer countries.

Upcoming Events

World Water Week
August 25-30
World Water Week is the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues. It is organized by SIWI. In 2019, World Water Week will address the theme “Water for society – Including all”. In 2018, over 3,300 individuals and around 380 convening organizations from 135 countries participated in the Week.

AITHM Seminar: Prof Paul Brindley - Gene editing to explore schistosomiasis and related helminth diseases
August 26, Townsville, Australia
Paul Brindley is a research scientist at the medical school of George Washington University, Washington, DC, where he is professor of microbiology, immunology and tropical medicine. The research of his lab focuses on neglected tropical diseases, using functional genomics approaches, and on carcinogenesis of helminth infection-associated cancers -- urogenital schistosomiasis-induced bladder cancer and liver fluke infection-induced bile duct cancer. Join remotely by copying and pasting this link into your web browser:

Tokyo International Conference of African Development (TICAD)
August 28-30, Yokohama, Japan
The Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) is an international conference led by the Japanese government and co-sponsored by the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the World Bank. After TICADs IV and V were successfully held in Yokohama in 2008 and 2013, TICAD will be coming back to Yokohama, and TICAD 7 will be held from August 28 through 30, 2019. TICAD is the largest international conference held in Japan. TICAD V saw more than 4,500 participants – heads of state and government, representatives of international and regional organizations, civil societies, NGOs, and the private sector.

Female Genital Schistosomiasis: Opportunities for Research
September 15, Liverpool, UK 
On Sunday, September 15, 2019, experts in neglected tropical diseases, HIV, gynecology, and related fields will convene for a meeting on female genital schistosomiasis (FGS). The aim of this meeting is to identify priority research questions regarding the measurement, treatment and control of FGS in order to guide the agenda of future operational research on this important, neglected gynecological disease. In addition, this one-day meeting will look at opportunities to engage with at-risk local communities, in-country gynecological services and HIV programs. 

11th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health
September 16-20, 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.

ECTMIH session: Schistosomiasis Control Through The Ages
September 17, Liverpool, UK 
The GSA Research working group have secured an organised session at the upcoming European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health conference in Liverpool this September. The GSA session, called Schistosomiasis Control Through the Ages, will present innovative research projects and findings on the impact and treament of schistosomiasis in specific age-groups and genders.

The 10th NTD NGO Network (NNN) Conference
September 17-19, 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, 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.

Achieving UHC: A Sustainable Future for Africa
September 23, New York, NY
This UHC Conference will feature Heads of State, African Union leaders, Ministers and youth leaders from across Africa who will discuss how to best leverage high-level political leadership to achieve UHC for Africa. UHC strategies place the most vulnerable at the center of the health system, ensuring that they have access to the fundamental conditions of human health together with access to quality care in their communities. This conference will spotlight successful efforts, identify synergies within and outside the health community, and promote effective solutions to achieve a sustainable and healthy future for all. Do not miss this unique opportunity.

East African Research in Progress 2019
September 26-28, Moshi, Tanzania
This is the third year we are running the East African Research in Progress meeting (EARIP) in association with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the East African Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College. This meeting is designed specifically for early career investigators to present their unpublished research in progress to peers and senior experts in all fields of tropical medicine and global health.

IAPB Council of Members 2019
October 5-6, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
With local office support from Sightsavers, IAPB is hosting the Council in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The Council will be from 7-8 October 2019, preceded by the IAPB Work Groups, Committees, and Board meetings on 5-6 October. The IAPB Council brings together world leaders in eye health and vision care to discuss issues relevant to the elimination of avoidable blindness and visual impairment globally. The meetings are also an opportunity to meet and discuss the latest in eye health with your peers.

Sustainability & Development Conference
October 11-14, 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.

Triangle Global Health Annual Conference
October 16, Durham, NC
Join us for the 2019 Triangle Global Health Annual Conference on October 16 in Durham, North Carolina! Our 2019 theme is One Health: Creating our Shared Future. The program sessions will include a mix of speakers, panels, workshops, and poster sessions which showcase current One Health best practices and encourage attendees and presenters to engage around key issues impacting human, animal, and environmental health across a spectrum of application areas.  

The Global FETP Enterprise: Applied Epidemiology in the 21st Century
October 28 - November 1, Atlanta, GA
The 10th TEPHINET Global Scientific Conference (with the theme, "The Global FETP Enterprise: Applied Epidemiology in the 21st Century") is a can’t-miss event that will give attendees an opportunity to engage with key players at the forefront of these various efforts, as we work together to shape our way forward.

ASTMH 68th Annual Meeting
November 20-24, 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, 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.