Posts Tagged Children

Urinary Schistosomiasis in South Darfur

February 14th, 2011

Image taken from BBC audio interview with Dr. Andrew MacDonald.

Researchers at Parasites and Vectors have released new data regarding the prevalence of schistosomiasis in Sudan.  The impetus of this study came from recent lab results confirming cases of urinary schistosomiasis in children in two  South Darfur communities .  The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence of schistosomiasis in the area and to decide on modalities of intervention. Their research method collected a total of 811 urine samples to examine the ova of  schistosomiasis in the affected Alsafia and Abuselala communities .  The survey found that children in the age group 10-14 had the highest infection rate [while] school age children, 6-15 years, are more likely to be infected than those younger than 15 years of age. The results of their study indicates that schistosomiasis is endemic in Alsafia and Abuselala in  South Darfur, Sudan with a high prevalence of infection among older children. These findings entreat an urgent intervention through Mass Drug Administration (MDA) in order to derail the infection rate and provide health education to targeted groups.

Schistosomiasis, most commonly known as snail fever, is one of the seven most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and is second to malaria as the most common parasitic disease.

Learn more about this study here!

Also, check out this BBC audio interview discussing schistosomiasis with Dr. Andrew MacDonald from Scotland.

Six reasons to care about NTDs

February 9th, 2011

By: Alanna Shaikh

Okay, I admit that if you read this blog you probably already care about NTDs. Probably. But maybe not. You never know. Maybe you found the blog by searching for Alyssa Milano. (Yes, she cares about NTDs! Also she knows a ton about baseball and is generally awesome.) Or maybe you already care about neglected tropical disease but you’re great-aunt Susan doesn’t and you’d like some easy arguments to convince her that she cares too. Whatever your motivations, I can help. Please find below, six reasons we should all care about neglected tropical diseases.

1.       The “tropics” are getting bigger. Global climate changes means that the natural (hot) habitat for NTDs is growing. The conditions that allow the spread of NTDs are, well, spreading. Mosquitoes have more habitat. So do sand flies, and assassin bugs.

2.       People move around more. Whether it is global migration or tourist travel, people travel the global faster and more often than they ever did before. They bring their infectious diseases with them. Immigrants to Europe and the US routinely need treatment for a whole range of NTDs. Tourists come home from exotic vacations with dengue fever and rabies. And they do it all the time now.

Read more: Six reasons to care about NTDs

Why Deworming is Cool

February 9th, 2011

By: Amanda Miller

This month, I came across two news articles (which can be found here and here) highlighting deworming activities in India.  First, Deworm the World, a US-based non-profit, aims to deworm 21 million school-age children in Bihar State, India.   Starting this month, the program will be rolled out in over 67,000 schools until April 2011.  Then I came across an article stating that the Orissa State government announced their intention to deworm school-age children in six districts of the state starting in May 2011.  According to the article, free deworming drugs will be distributed in all six districts twice per year.

Intestinal worms rob children of vital nutrients and slow their mental development. Chronic infection with intestinal worms can impact on the lives of children by impairing their physical growth, mental development, capacity to learn in school, and ability to contribute to their families.  These deworming programs mean that well over 30 million children in India will receive treatment for their intestinal worms, giving them the opportunity to be well and learn in school.  Which I think is pretty cool.

Read more: Why Deworming is Cool

Reading List 2/7/2011

February 7th, 2011

Happy Monday readers! Heres a brand new reading list to help jump start your week! Today were reading about how poor sanitation can make children susceptible to contracting parasitic worms, what Yemen is doing to meet the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, the Global Funds newly announced anti-corruption measures, and mass school-wide deworming in Bihar, India.

Poor sanitation makes EWS kids vulnerable to parasitic worms, Archana Jyoti, The Pioneer Yemen Adopts Fast-Track Approach to Meet MDGs, Yemen Post Global Fund announces new anti-corruption measures, John Heilprin, Associated Press Mass de-worming drive for Bihar children from Monday, The Hindu

New Video from Notre Dame NTD Awareness Group

January 31st, 2011

ND Fighting NTDs is a student-run group from the University of Notre Dame. They have contributed to End the Neglect in the past, most recently with this blog post highlighting their Annual NTD Awareness week at Notre Dame last December. Today we are featuring a video that they created as an advocacy tool to encourage others to do their part in the fight against NTDs.

**Warning: Graphic content:

Ending the neglect

January 28th, 2011

UK-based journalist Emilie Filou (who recently authored this great article on Trachoma), writes about neglected tropical diseases again for This is Africa. The article also features snippets from interviews Filou conducted with Dr. Neeraj Mistry, Managing Director of the Global Network, and Dr. Peter Hotez. The piece discusses the role of pharmaceuticals in NTD control, the importance of integration across other disease and issue areas and elimination goals.

From the article:

“The term ‘other disease’ has been a great frustration,” says Dr Peter Hotez, president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and an expert on NTDs. “It’s quite clear that you won’t get Bono or Angelina Jolie to help out with ‘other diseases’. That’s what spurred us to call them Neglected Tropical Diseases as a group. It’s not the greatest of names, but it will help galvanise awareness,” he says.

Advocacy group The Global Network for NTDs is now lobbying to include NTDs under the remit of The Global Fund, Pepfar or the President’s Malaria Initiative. “We have new data coming out of Zimbabwe that shows that women infected with schistosomiasis are three times more likely to be infected with HIV,” explains Dr Neeraj Mistry, managing director of the Global Network.

“Treating schistosomiasis therefore becomes an intervention for HIV control; it’s those links we need to make to justify the inclusion of NTDs in global health efforts.”

There are many more such synergies: HIV-positive individuals have seen a decrease in their viral load when de-wormed; lymphatic filariasis is transmitted by mosquitoes, so the use of bednets, widely distributed for malaria control, is an efficient prevention measure.

Dr Mistry says that including NTDs in the Global Fund would only increase their budget marginally, but substantially increase their impact. “It costs as little $0.5 per year to treat an individual against NTDs. Compare that with the $100 it costs to treat someone with HIV, or the $35 the average African family spends on malaria control. In terms of investment, you won’t find a better return in health.”

To read the full article click here

Spotlight on Deworm the World

January 26th, 2011

By: Alanna Shaikh

There are a whole lot of groups out there doing their part to make neglected tropical diseases a little less neglected, ranging from tiny NGOs to large partnerships like the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (which sponsors this blog). One interesting NGO is Deworm the World[1]. They connect groups that work with schoolchildren to interested donors, to help good efforts get the funding they need. Their goal is to improve school attendance, and therefore education, by supporting deworming efforts.

I like their approach. They didn’t set up a whole new NGO to do what other groups are already doing. Instead, they found a way to help the groups that are already out there. They draw on the energy and expertise of the Forum of Young Global Leaders to support their work and raise the profile of helminthes.

So, it sounds good, but what does Deworm the World actually do?

Read more: Spotlight on Deworm the World

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    • The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases is a major advocacy and resource mobilization initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute dedicated to raising the awareness, political will, and funding necessary to control and eliminate the most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)--a group of disabling, disfiguring, and deadly diseases affecting more than 1.4 billion people worldwide living on less than $1.25 a day.
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