Tag Archives: hookworm

World Malaria Day Achieving Progress and Impact

By: Linda Diep

Today I had the pleasure of attending a videoconference presentation on the successes and contributions made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the fight to end malaria. The videoconference, held in the CDC’s Washington DC office, featured presentations from the following active players in malaria control:

  • Dr. Richard W. Steketee, MACEPA, PATH
  • Dr. Kim Lindblade, Malaria Branch, CDC
  • Dr. S. Patrick Kachur, Malaria Branch, CDC
  • Dr. John MacArthur, Malaria Branch, CDC

Opening remarks were made by Dr. of the CDC, who said although malaria numbers continue to decrease, these statistics are still high. Dr. Frieden stated that every 45 seconds a child dies of malaria. Malaria affects much of the developing world, and may in fact be over-diagnosed.

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Shoes Save Lives

Reprinted with permission from Toms Shoes:

By: Kim Koporc, Director, Children Without Worms (CWW)

It seems silly but when you think about it, people spend a lot of time deciding what shoes to wear. But for the millions of children living in the developing world, having access to just one pair of shoes can be life changing. Today people across the United States are participating in TOMS Shoes’ One Day Without Shoes – to raise awareness about the number of kids that do not have shoes and the challenges they face.

Not having shoes can be the difference between being sick and well.  Shoes are the buffer between one’s skin and the ground.  The ground is often dirty and can contain fecal matter in communities that lack access to proper sanitation. Shoes keep children free of infections.

Hookworm, one of the three types of STHs, spreads when larvae penetrate the skin – often through bare feet because their families lack the resources to buy shoes. Continue reading

A Success: USAID’s Neglected Tropical Disease Program

This post has been reprinted with permission from USAIDs IMPACTblog.

By: Elizabeth Thompson, USAID/ Bureau for Global Health

A young woman is measured for height to determine her proper treatment dosage for lymphatic filariasis and soil-transmitted helminthes during a mass drug administration in Sierra Leone. Photo credit: Michel Pacque/USAID

There is a group of diseases you don’t hear much about but that has a terrible impact on more than 1 billion people around the world – that’s one sixth of the world’s population. The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified 13 of these as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and they include such dreaded illnesses as elephantiasis, leprosy, blinding trachoma, and intestinal worms.  Together, NTDs have a disproportionately large impact on poor and rural populations, causing severe illness, disfigurement, and disability. They also perpetuate poverty by reducing people’s ability to work and children’s intellectual and physical development.

Until recently, many countries were treating NTDs through separate, uncoordinated programs. However, pilot studies suggest that it is possible to integrate programs to control and treat seven of these diseases together by providing safe and effective drug treatments once or twice a year to all people in an affected community. This approach, which has been endorsed by WHO and is called mass drug administration (MDA), targets large, at-risk populations, rather than individuals, since NTDs tend to occur together in the same geographic area.  Pilot studies of MDAs of the seven targeted NTDs resulted in significant reductions of illness and transmission of these diseases and indicated that, though there were major challenges, integrating control programs was possible and could result in cost savings and efficiencies. However, it was not clear if integrated programs could be scaled up to the national level.

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2010 NTD Highlights: an eclectic list

By: Alanna Shaikh

This is not a scientifically sound list. It is not based on any kind of criteria that make sense. It’s just my list, of what I remember as the most interesting developments in 2010 that related to neglected tropical diseases.

1.       The WHO issued its first annual report on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). I was honestly surprised to discover it was the first, but better 2010 than never, right?  This kind of formal recognition of the seriousness of NTDs is a big part of what will make them less neglected. The report itself was thorough and detailed, and called for all the right things – more research, better drug access, and support to build health systems to eliminate the NTDs.

2.       Increased private participation in global health in general, and NTDs in particular. It seemed like the private sector was everywhere this year. We saw large drug donations to treat NTDs, including a five-year commitment from Glaxo Smith Kline to provide albendazole to protect children at risk for intestinal worms and a Sanofi Adventis cash commitment of $25 million dollars. We also saw broader corporate commitment to global health in companies that ranged from Coca-Cola to venture capital efforts.

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