Tag Archives: myanmar

Lymphatic Filariasis Early Detection Study Commences in Myanmar

 

The Global Network is happy to share the work of Jan Douglass, PhD Candidate at James Cook University, who is conducting a study in Myanmar focused on lymphatic filariasis in young people. 

By Jan Douglass, PhD Candidate at James Cook University

Infection with Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) can lead to distressing disfigurement and disability, but the time between infection and development of chronic disease can take many years. In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers from James Cook University in Australia are measuring early stage changes in young people infected with LF.

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Dr Khin Than Win (WHO) inspects the legs of a young man in Magwe region who has developed elephantiasis.

 Physical measurements, more usually employed to detect changes in lymphedema after cancer treatments, are being used to detect early stage changes in young people aged 10 – 21 living in a Filariasis endemic region in Central Myanmar. ICT test cards were used to identify the 50 positive case in Amarapura Township. These were then gender and age matched with 50 negative young people.

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Dr Tint Wai Tun (Mandalay VBDC) and Jan Douglass conduct ICT testing in Amarpaura Township during October 2014.

Jan Douglass and local Myanmar research assistant Wanna Aung   measure skin changes in the legs of a young person infected with LF

Jan Douglass and local Myanmar research assistant Wanna Aung
measure skin changes in the legs of a young person infected with LF

 Plasma samples are also taken and will be analysed for levels of pro inflammatory cytokines and vessel endothelial growth factors (VEGF). These biochemical markers will be compared to the physical measure to determine if a simple test can be developed to identify young people infected with LF who may be most at risk of developing chronic disease.

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Lab Technician Thiha Soe (Mandalay VBDC) draws blood from a young participant in the study.

Jan Douglass is conducting this study as part of her PhD Candidature James Cook University and travelled to Myanmar in October 2014 to collect baseline data. A mass drug administration (MDA) of deworming drugs will be carried out in December 2014 and Jan will travel back to Amarapura Township in February 2015 to take follow up measures. Comparing the physical measurements and biochemical markers before and after MDA may provide valuable information on the continued risk of lymphatic dysfunction even if the MDA is successful in interrupting disease transmission in endemic regions.

Funding for this project has come entirely from private donors, to contribute to the project please visit www.myanmar-project.com

To view the video blogs of baseline data collection please visit www.myanmar-project.com/blog

See the work Global Network is supporting in Myanmar here: www.end7.org/impact/myanmar

How END7 Support Helps Countries across the World

 

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END7 supporters are proving success is possible; they have already helped strengthen neglected tropical disease (NTD) treatment programs in Kenya, Myanmar, Sierra Leone and Honduras. And together, we have plans to support Peru, Vietnam, Nigeria and Indonesia too!

END7 donations go a long way, especially since 100 percent of donations made go directly to NTD treatment programs in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, the regions with the largest NTD burdens.

This money helps train the community health workers that deliver the NTD medicine to communities, fund educational materials that teach kids how to prevent NTDs, support the delivery of NTD medicine to remote areas, provide clean water to communities and strengthen these country’s abilities to help their own people who suffer daily from NTDs.

These parasitic and bacterial diseases infect 1.4 billion people worldwide, causing unnecessary suffering and trapping families in poverty.

Dedicated partners, including ministries of health and education, governments, regional institutions like the Pan American Health Organization and many NGOs – including the Global Network and its END7 campaign – work hard to support countries around the world that are plagued by NTDs. seventy-four countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America have already developed plans to control and eliminate NTDs. But often these countries lack the money or resources necessary to carry out their plans year after year.

Together, we’re making real progress. Because of the dedicated support of people like you, girls like Pwint Yamone-Thin are healthy, active and free of NTDs; Kids like Neema and Fatuma Kahindi have a brighter future.

See the projects END7 donations supported and the impact they’re are making on the lives of those who needlessly suffer from NTDs.

While we’ve done so much together, we must continue to support those suffering from NTDs. By donating to END7 today, you’ll ensure that more children around the world live happy and healthy lives. Your support means that governments around the world can continue to provide NTD treatment to their most vulnerable populations – and end NTDs once and for all. Donate now.

One Week, One Hope: A Myanmar Free of NTDs

 

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) have a crippling affect on the people of Myanmar, one of the poorest countries in Asia. A staggering 80% of the population is at risk for one or more of these parasitic and bacterial infections which can cause severe pain and disfigurement. Despite this, Myanmar is making progress in the fight against NTDs due in large part to an unprecedented and ambitious campaign that took place over just one week in September, 2013.

Our new video shows how thousands of health workers and volunteers came together to help end the burden of NTDs in Myanmar. Watch it here:

With the support of END7 and the World Health Organization (WHO), the Myanmar Ministry of Health protected more than 36 million people from lymphatic filariasis (LF) and intestinal worms.

The one-week campaign required careful coordination beginning with the national government and ending with local communities. First, the donated medicines arrived in country and were transported to more than 200 townships across Myanmar. For this program, more than 4,000 health workers and 90,000 volunteers were trained on how to distribute these medicines used to protect people from NTDs. Trainings took place in hospitals, and even in monasteries.

Once trained, the health workers carried out the large scale mass drug administration (MDA) by traveling door to door and visiting schools and community centers. They spent time talking to people about the importance of these medicines and the impact of NTDs. Teachers, community organizations, NGOs and other partners all played a big part in making sure that these medicines are distributed and helped protect families in Myanmar.

The result of this massive effort is millions of children like 7-year old Pwint Yamone Thin will be able to learn, play and be the healthy children they’re meant to be. It means that millions of mothers and fathers will not worry about losing their livelihoods due to debilitating illness or swelling of their limbs.

And the future looks promising. Plans for a 2014 MDA are already underway and Myanmar’s government plans to continue treatment until NTD transmission has stopped in all districts. Encouragingly, six districts in Myanmar have already completed the necessary number of MDAs to stop transmission of LF. If NTD treatment continues to be prioritized in Myanmar, the country can achieve its goal of eliminating NTDs by 2020. Lack of available resources to implement the program and the need for greater public awareness on NTD treatment and control are the primary challenges now.

Will you help raise awareness by sharing our video today? Together we can create a brighter future for millions of children in Myanmar.

Shining Some LIGHT on Communities with NTDs

 

Join the Lights crew hard at work filming at a school. Photo by Join the Lights.

Join the Lights crew hard at work filming at a school. Photo by Join the Lights.

 

Storytelling is at the crux of our work at the END7 campaign and our mission to control and eliminate seven neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by 2020.

We know that before people will take action to support any issue or cause, they have to be informed, inspired and connected to it.  That’s why we’re working to ensure that people are aware of more than just the facts about NTDs, and that they also have an opportunity to see and hear the real stories of families and communities who are struggling to fight and overcome these diseases.

We were thrilled to recently meet another group that shares our same vision of making positive change through storytelling – Join the Lights.  A creative media non-profit, Join the Lights is partnering with us to document and share the progress toward controlling NTDs in Myanmar.  The country’s latest nationwide mass drug administration campaign took place just last week, with support from END7.

This wasn’t Join the Lights’ first experience with NTDs.  Film crew members Davis, Tim and Kevin shared with us that they have already needed to seek treatment for parasitic diseases like intestinal worms and schistosomiasis over the past year while they’ve been traveling to remote parts of Latin America, Africa and South East Asia.

While they’ve had their own experiences battling NTDs, traveling with END7 and our partners allowed Join the Lights to witness what NTD control efforts are like on a large scale.  This year’s campaign involved extensive logistics to deliver medicines around the country and the training and mobilization of community health workers to deliver treatments to more than 20 million people – half of them children – in a period of just one week.

We’re thankful to have the added power of Join the Lights’ storytelling expertise behind us in our efforts to control and eliminate NTDs in Myanmar and around the world.

You can follow along with them on Instagram and Facebook  to see the progress on their work, and stay tuned for us to share the final product later this year!