The Task Force for Global Health is thrilled to announce the winning teams of the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Hackathon, “Spread Truth, Not Disease.” Twelve teams competed virtually on April 17 and 18 to create a solution for challenges surrounding rumors/misinformation relating to mass drug administration (MDA) or treatment-seeking behavior among those affected with NTDs.
Congratulations Julia Hermann, Caroline Pane, Samuel Tomp, and Bridget Yates (Team 16) from Boston University (United States) for receiving first place! Their presentation, "Lymphatic Filariasis Mass Drug Administration (MDA) in Tanzania: Pill Pack," addressed challenges with mass drug administration.
Solution Name: LF Pill Pack
“We identified that the framework for drug administration was a cause of concern as a lack of clear labeling and information about the disease, and administration by community outsiders, exacerbated mistrust in the drug, albendazole. Our solution primarily targets a male audience, includes information on Lymphatic Filariasis and drug dosing, uses Swahili terms for the disease, clarifies misconceptions about how LF is spread and the role of the drug in prevention, in order to educate and instill confidence and trust in the drug.”
They will each receive $500 and a virtual booth at the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases Annual Meeting Innovation Lab, Nov. 8-10, to share their solution with NTD community experts. Stay tuned for a blog on their experience and solution!
Runners up in the competition were Team 3, Yasaman Asgari, Alireza Hashemi, Saeed Hedayatian and Sina Sajjadi from Sharif University of Technology (Iran) for their solution also on stopping rumors around MDA. They will receive the opportunity to share their solution with NTD experts at a virtual booth at the COR-NTD Innovation Lab as well.
Solution Name: Misinformation: Detection and Hindering
“We propose educating the public with emphasis on local spreading risks and through communication with social influencers. We also propose a rather long-term solution, namely to educate the children through different informative games.”
Given the level of effort, creativity and thoughtfulness all of the participants in this event, The Task Force would also like to offer Honorable Mentions to the following teams:
Best Community Engagement
Team 13: Njilla Steev Becca Njissic, Fuanyi Awatboh, Ntangatung Nkengeh Tazinkeng, Ajonglefac Nkengeh Fabrice, University of Buea (Cameroon)
Completing the Challenge Against All Odds
Team 9: Ayomide Olaiya, University of Lagos (Nigeria)
Best Disability Inclusion
Team 14: Divine Kporha, University of Health and Allied Sciences (Ghana); Babacar Ngom, Aix-Marseille Université (Sénégal); Trisha Sengupta, Emory University (United States); Stella Zhang, Emory University (United States)
“We want to thank all of the teams, judges and advisors for making our first ever hackathon a huge success,” said Katie Gass, Director of Research, The Neglected Tropical Disease Support Center at The Task Force for Global Health, and creator of the Hackathon. "I was so impressed with the time and energy that each of the teams dedicated to developing their solutions; the creativity, cultural sensitivity and knowledge of NTDs demonstrated in the solutions exceeded my expectations!”
Below are the other inspiring entries from the event:
Bacha Tafa, Adejumoke Gabriel, Shayna Shawn Adelman, Olivia Kennedy and Powell Kafwanka
Marisa Dobbins and Ayomide Olaiya
Bianca Tenney, Vinh Le, Oluwadamilare Dauda and Lorna Enow
Meghan Mcauley, Oritseweyinmi Erikowa-Orighoye, Taiwo Olajumoke and Yu Yan
Njilla Steev-Becca Njissic, Fuanyi Awatboh, Ntangatung Nkengeh Tazinkeng and Ajonglefac Nkengeh Fabrice
Divine Kporha, Babacar Ngom, Trisha Sengupta and Stella Zhang