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1.
Bull World Health Organ ; 100(2): 96-97, 2022 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686366

ABSTRACT

Uche Amazigo talks to Andreia Azevedo Soares about the impact of the pandemic on NTD-related activities and the prospects for regaining momentum on the global NTD agenda.


Subject(s)
Pandemics , Tropical Medicine , Humans , Neglected Diseases/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control
2.
Adv Parasitol ; 114: 1-26, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1458847

ABSTRACT

Human parasitic infections-including malaria, and many neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)-have long represented a Gordian knot in global public health: ancient, persistent, and exceedingly difficult to control. With the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic substantially interrupting control programmes worldwide, there are now mounting fears that decades of progress in controlling global parasitic infections will be undone. With Covid-19 moreover exposing deep vulnerabilities in the global health system, the current moment presents a watershed opportunity to plan future efforts to reduce the global morbidity and mortality associated with human parasitic infections. In this chapter, we first provide a brief epidemiologic overview of the progress that has been made towards the control of parasitic diseases between 1990 and 2019, contrasting these fragile gains with the anticipated losses as a result of Covid-19. We then argue that the complementary aspirations of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the World Health Organization (WHO)'s 2030 targets for parasitic disease control may be achieved by aligning programme objectives within the One Health paradigm, recognizing the interdependence between humans, animals, and the environment. In so doing, we note that while the WHO remains the preeminent international institution to address some of these transdisciplinary concerns, its underlying challenges with funding, authority, and capacity are likely to reverberate if left unaddressed. To this end, we conclude by reimagining how models of multisectoral global health governance-combining the WHO's normative and technical leadership with greater support in allied policy-making areas-can help sustain future malaria and NTD elimination efforts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , One Health , Parasitic Diseases , Tropical Medicine , Animals , Global Health , Humans , Neglected Diseases/epidemiology , Neglected Diseases/prevention & control , Parasitic Diseases/epidemiology , Parasitic Diseases/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
3.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 14(9): e0007956, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1339406

ABSTRACT

In 2018, the government of the Republic of Korea (ROK), South Korean life science companies, and a group of international funders led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched a new and innovative funding agency to support neglected-disease research and development (R&D). The new venture is known as the Research Investment for Global Health Technology (RIGHT) Fund.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Technology/economics , Neglected Diseases/prevention & control , Biomedical Technology/organization & administration , Biomedical Technology/trends , Financial Management , Global Health/economics , Humans , Neglected Diseases/economics , Neglected Diseases/epidemiology , Republic of Korea/epidemiology
5.
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg ; 115(8): 841-846, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228539

ABSTRACT

The Ascend West and Central Africa programme, funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is supporting integrated preventative chemotherapy for up to five neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), including intestinal worms, lymphatic filariasis, river blindness, trachoma and schistosomiasis. The programme is implemented across 13 countries by a consortium of four leading international development partners: Sightsavers, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Schistosomiasis Control Initiative Foundation and Mott Macdonald. This paper presents messages learnt from country assessments that took place prior to the global outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). These messages remain relevant post-COVID-19, with greater priority being given to the challenges for national NTD programmes in continuing to deliver mass drug administration (MDA) during the pandemic. Stakeholder coordination from the earliest stages of the pandemic has occurred at two levels: in the first mile with global partners of the NTD Supply Chain Forum and in the last mile with implementing partners in each country. This has been instrumental to manage delayed MDA, including the impact delays have on the shipment of NTD donated drugs and the distribution of stock held in country. The Ascend West and Central Africa programme is supporting countries with the resumption of MDA through a risk assessment and mitigation action (RAMA) process.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Tropical Medicine , Africa, Central/epidemiology , Humans , Neglected Diseases/drug therapy , Neglected Diseases/epidemiology , Neglected Diseases/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg ; 115(3): 245-252, 2021 03 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091212

ABSTRACT

Many control programmes against neglected tropical diseases have been interrupted due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, including those that rely on active case finding. In this study we focus on gambiense human African trypanosomiasis (gHAT), where active screening was suspended in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) due to the pandemic. We use two independent mathematical models to predict the impact of COVID-19 interruptions on transmission and reporting and achievement of the 2030 elimination of transmission (EOT) goal for gHAT in two moderate-risk regions of the DRC. We consider different interruption scenarios, including reduced passive surveillance in fixed health facilities, and whether this suspension lasts until the end of 2020 or 2021. Our models predict an increase in the number of new infections in the interruption period only if both active screening and passive surveillance were suspended, and with a slowed reduction-but no increase-if passive surveillance remains fully functional. In all scenarios, the EOT may be slightly pushed back if no mitigation, such as increased screening coverage, is put in place. However, we emphasise that the biggest challenge will remain in the higher-prevalence regions where EOT is already predicted to be behind schedule without interruptions unless interventions are bolstered.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Trypanosomiasis, African/epidemiology , Trypanosomiasis, African/prevention & control , Democratic Republic of the Congo/epidemiology , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Neglected Diseases/epidemiology , Neglected Diseases/prevention & control , Pandemics , Population Surveillance , SARS-CoV-2 , Trypanosoma brucei gambiense
9.
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg ; 115(3): 213-221, 2021 03 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087814

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted planned annual antibiotic mass drug administration (MDA) activities that have formed the cornerstone of the largely successful global efforts to eliminate trachoma as a public health problem. METHODS: Using a mathematical model we investigate the impact of interruption to MDA in trachoma-endemic settings. We evaluate potential measures to mitigate this impact and consider alternative strategies for accelerating progress in those areas where the trachoma elimination targets may not be achievable otherwise. RESULTS: 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. CONCLUSION: Through appropriate use of additional MDA, the impact of COVID-19 in terms of delay to reaching trachoma elimination targets can be effectively mitigated. Additionally, more frequent MDA may accelerate progress towards 2030 goals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Trachoma/epidemiology , Trachoma/prevention & control , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Humans , Mass Drug Administration , Models, Theoretical , Neglected Diseases/epidemiology , Neglected Diseases/prevention & control , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg ; 115(3): 229-235, 2021 03 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1082494

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In March 2020, India declared a nationwide lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus disease 2019. As a result, control efforts against visceral leishmaniasis (VL) were interrupted. METHODS: Using an established age-structured deterministic VL transmission model, we predicted the impact of a 6- to 24-month programme interruption on the timeline towards achieving the VL elimination target as well as on the increase of VL cases. We also explored the potential impact of a mitigation strategy after the interruption. RESULTS: Delays towards the elimination target are estimated to range between 0 and 9 y. Highly endemic settings where control efforts have been ongoing for 5-8 y are most affected by an interruption, for which we identified a mitigation strategy to be most relevant. However, more importantly, all settings can expect an increase in the number of VL cases. This increase is substantial even for settings with a limited expected delay in achieving the elimination target. CONCLUSIONS: Besides implementing mitigation strategies, it is of great importance to try and keep the duration of the interruption as short as possible to prevent new individuals from becoming infected with VL and continue the efforts towards VL elimination as a public health problem in India.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Leishmaniasis, Visceral/epidemiology , Leishmaniasis, Visceral/prevention & control , Humans , India/epidemiology , Neglected Diseases/epidemiology , Neglected Diseases/prevention & control , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
11.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 15(2): e0009092, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1076231

ABSTRACT

The World Health Organization (WHO) considers mycetoma, chromoblastomycosis, and paracoccidioidomycosis to be fungal neglected tropical diseases (FNTDs). Depending on climatic, cultural, and economic contexts, these diseases have a similar geographical distribution as many other diseases, particularly tuberculosis (TB) and malaria, but are often less targeted by the national and many international healthcare systems. Another subgroup of fungal infections, such as candidiasis, cryptococcosis, pneumocystosis, histoplasmosis, and to a lesser extent, aspergillosis, are known as AIDS-related mycoses. Although antiretroviral therapy (ART) has been able to decrease the mortality rate of these diseases, particularly cryptococcosis, the disproportionately low distribution of funds to their diagnosis and treatment remains an obstacle in saving and improving the lives of patients affected. A new wave of viral diseases dubbed the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) hit the world at the end of 2019. Due to progressive symptoms and high mortality rates of COVID-19 compared to fungal infections, particularly the FNTDs, funding is currently allocated predominantly for diagnostic and therapeutic research on COVID-19. As a result, advances in FNTDs and AIDS-related mycosis care are considerably reduced. This paper explores the association between COVID-19, FNTDs, and AIDS-related mycoses with a predictive perspective.


Subject(s)
AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Mycoses/epidemiology , Neglected Diseases/epidemiology , AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections/microbiology , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans
13.
Clin Infect Dis ; 72(8): 1463-1466, 2021 04 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066275

ABSTRACT

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many key neglected tropical disease (NTD) activities have been postponed. This hindrance comes at a time when the NTDs are progressing towards their ambitious goals for 2030. Mathematical modelling on several NTDs, namely gambiense sleeping sickness, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiases (STH), trachoma, and visceral leishmaniasis, shows that the impact of this disruption will vary across the diseases. Programs face a risk of resurgence, which will be fastest in high-transmission areas. Furthermore, of the mass drug administration diseases, schistosomiasis, STH, and trachoma are likely to encounter faster resurgence. The case-finding diseases (gambiense sleeping sickness and visceral leishmaniasis) are likely to have fewer cases being detected but may face an increasing underlying rate of new infections. However, once programs are able to resume, there are ways to mitigate the impact and accelerate progress towards the 2030 goals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tropical Medicine , Humans , Neglected Diseases/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg ; 115(3): 261-268, 2021 03 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1054340

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In view of the current global coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, mass drug administration interventions for neglected tropical diseases, including lymphatic filariasis (LF), have been halted. We used mathematical modelling to estimate the impact of delaying or cancelling treatment rounds and explore possible mitigation strategies. METHODS: We used three established LF transmission models to simulate infection trends in settings with annual treatment rounds and programme delays in 2020 of 6, 12, 18 or 24 months. We then evaluated the impact of various mitigation strategies upon resuming activities. RESULTS: The delay in achieving the elimination goals is on average similar to the number of years the treatment rounds are missed. Enhanced interventions implemented for as little as 1 y can allow catch-up on the progress lost and, if maintained throughout the programme, can lead to acceleration of up to 3 y. CONCLUSIONS: 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.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Elephantiasis, Filarial/epidemiology , Elephantiasis, Filarial/prevention & control , Disease Eradication , Filaricides/therapeutic use , Humans , Mass Drug Administration , Models, Theoretical , Neglected Diseases/epidemiology , Neglected Diseases/prevention & control , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg ; 115(3): 236-244, 2021 03 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1054339

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The 2030 goal for schistosomiasis is elimination as a public health problem (EPHP), with mass drug administration (MDA) of praziquantel to school-age children (SAC) as a central pillar of the strategy. However, due to coronavirus disease 2019, many mass treatment campaigns for schistosomiasis have been halted, with uncertain implications for the programmes. METHODS: We use mathematical modelling to explore how postponement of MDA and various mitigation strategies affect achievement of the EPHP goal for Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium. RESULTS: For both S. mansoni and S. haematobium in moderate- and some high-prevalence settings, the disruption may delay the goal by up to 2 y. In some high-prevalence settings, EPHP is not achievable with current strategies and so the disruption will not impact this. Here, increasing SAC coverage and treating adults can achieve the goal. The impact of MDA disruption and the appropriate mitigation strategy varies according to the baseline prevalence prior to treatment, the burden of infection in adults and the stage of the programme. CONCLUSIONS: Schistosomiasis MDA programmes in medium- and high-prevalence areas should restart as soon as is feasible and mitigation strategies may be required in some settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Neglected Diseases/epidemiology , Neglected Diseases/prevention & control , Schistosomiasis/epidemiology , Schistosomiasis/prevention & control , Animals , Humans , Mass Drug Administration , Models, Theoretical , Pandemics , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Schistosoma haematobium , Schistosomiasis mansoni
16.
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg ; 115(3): 269-280, 2021 03 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1054338

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mass drug administration (MDA) of ivermectin for onchocerciasis has been disrupted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Mathematical modelling can help predict how missed/delayed MDA will affect short-term epidemiological trends and elimination prospects by 2030. METHODS: Two onchocerciasis transmission models (EPIONCHO-IBM and ONCHOSIM) are used to simulate microfilarial prevalence trends, elimination probabilities and age profiles of Onchocerca volvulus microfilarial prevalence and intensity for different treatment histories and transmission settings, assuming no interruption, a 1-y (2020) interruption or a 2-y (2020-2021) interruption. Biannual MDA or increased coverage upon MDA resumption are investigated as remedial strategies. RESULTS: Programmes with shorter MDA histories and settings with high pre-intervention endemicity will be the most affected. Biannual MDA is more effective than increasing coverage for mitigating COVID-19's impact on MDA. Programmes that had already switched to biannual MDA should be minimally affected. In high-transmission settings with short treatment history, a 2-y interruption could lead to increased microfilarial load in children (EPIONCHO-IBM) and adults (ONCHOSIM). CONCLUSIONS: Programmes with shorter (annual MDA) treatment histories should be prioritised for remedial biannual MDA. Increases in microfilarial load could have short- and long-term morbidity and mortality repercussions. These results can guide decision-making to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on onchocerciasis elimination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Filaricides/therapeutic use , Ivermectin/therapeutic use , Onchocerciasis/epidemiology , Onchocerciasis/prevention & control , Disease Eradication , Humans , Mass Drug Administration , Models, Theoretical , Neglected Diseases/epidemiology , Neglected Diseases/prevention & control , Pandemics , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg ; 115(3): 222-228, 2021 03 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1031765

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Progress towards elimination of trachoma as a public health problem has been substantial, but the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted community-based control efforts. METHODS: We use a susceptible-infected model to estimate the impact of delayed distribution of azithromycin treatment on the prevalence of active trachoma. RESULTS: We identify three distinct scenarios for geographic districts depending on whether the basic reproduction number and the treatment-associated reproduction number are above or below a value of 1. We find that when the basic reproduction number is <1, no significant delays in disease control will be caused. However, when the basic reproduction number is >1, significant delays can occur. In most districts, 1 y of COVID-related delay can be mitigated by a single extra round of mass drug administration. However, supercritical districts require a new paradigm of infection control because the current strategies will not eliminate disease. CONCLUSIONS: If the pandemic can motivate judicious, community-specific implementation of control strategies, global elimination of trachoma as a public health problem could be accelerated.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Azithromycin/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Trachoma/epidemiology , Trachoma/prevention & control , Humans , Mass Drug Administration , Neglected Diseases/epidemiology , Neglected Diseases/prevention & control , Pandemics , Prevalence , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg ; 115(3): 211-212, 2021 03 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1015394

ABSTRACT

Models predict that the negative effects of delayed implementation in trachoma elimination programmes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will be minimal, except in high prevalence districts where progress may be reversed. During times of change we must stand by our principles of evidence-based decision-making, but also be willing to show flexibility. Slow progress to elimination in high prevalence districts was already a significant challenge to the global programme and mitigation of COVID-related delays with enhanced implementation provides an opportunity to simultaneously address an unprecedented challenge and a pre-existing one.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Neglected Diseases/epidemiology , Neglected Diseases/prevention & control , Trachoma/epidemiology , Trachoma/prevention & control , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Pandemics , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , World Health Organization
20.
Infect Dis Poverty ; 10(1): 2, 2021 Jan 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1007137

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The damage inflicted by the coronavirus diseases 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic upon humanity is and will continue to be considerable. Unprecedented progress made in global health over the past 20 years has reverted and economic growth has already evaporated, giving rise to a global recession, the likes of which we may not have experienced since the Second World War. Our aim is to draw the attention of the neglected tropical disease (NTD) community towards some of the major emerging economic opportunities which are quickly appearing on the horizon as a result of COVID-19. MAIN TEXT: This scoping review relied on a literature search comprised of a sample of articles, statements, and press releases on initiatives aimed at mitigating the impact of COVID-19, while supporting economic recovery. Of note, the donor scenario and economic development agendas are highly dynamic and expected to change rapidly as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, as are donor and lender priorities. CONCLUSIONS: The NTD community, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), will need to work quickly, diligently, and in close collaboration with decision-makers and key stakeholders, across sectors at national and international level to secure its position. Doing so might enhance the odds of grasping potential opportunities to access some of the massive resources that are now available in the form of contributions from corporate foundations, trust funds, loans, debt relieve schemes, and other financial mechanisms, as part of the ongoing and future economic development agendas and public health priorities driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper should serve as a starting point for the NTD community to seek much needed financial support in order to sustain and revitalize control and elimination efforts pertaining to NTDs in LMICs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Neglected Diseases/economics , Neglected Diseases/epidemiology , Economic Status , Global Health , Humans , Pandemics , Poverty , Public Health , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Tropical Climate , United Nations , World Health Organization
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