RECENT ACTIVITIES

A Record 18 Scientists Receive Research Awards from the African Researchers' Small Grants Program (SGP II)

The second cohort of grantees of the African Researchers’ Small Grants Program (SGP II) have been selected from a pool of more than 100 applicants to receive grant awards to conduct Operational and Implementation Researches in NTDs. 

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G20 Publication - NTDs: Maintaining Focus on The Neglected Poor

The Executive Director of ARNTD has contributed another article to the new edition of the G20 magazine, underscoring the need for global efforts aimed at fighting and controlling NTDs not lose the focus of the poor people who are central to the theme of NTDs.

Dr. Amuasi emphasizes that “Having African scientists, policy makers and other actors directly involved in agenda setting and key activities in efforts to control and eliminate NTDs is critical to developing a sense of ownership and responsibility, which allows the focus to remain on those individuals, families and societies who suffer extreme poverty and neglect

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MEMBERS' PUBLICATIONS

African trypanosomes are mainly transmitted through the bite of tsetse flies (Glossina spp.). The present study investigated the occurrence of pathogenic trypanosomes in tsetse flies and cattle in tsetse fly-infested areas of Northern Cameroon.

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Schistosomiasis is a disease of poverty, caused by infection with trematode parasites belonging to the genus Schistosoma. The Nigerian National Control Programme (NCP) for schistosomiasis does not have a specific action plan for female genital schistosomiasis (FGS), mainly due to gaps in epidemiological and clinical surveillance. This paper documents pilot surveys of female genital schistosomiasis in girls between 5 and 15, and women from 16 years in four rural communities near Abeokuta, Ogun State.

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Filoviruses represent a significant public health threat worldwide. West Africa recently experienced the largest-scale and most complex filovirus outbreak yet known, which underlines the need for a predictive understanding of the geographic distribution and potential for transmission to humans of these viruses. Here, we used ecological niche modeling techniques to understand the relationship between known filovirus occurrences and environmental characteristics. Our study derived a picture of the potential transmission geography of Ebola virus species and Marburg, paired with views of the spatial uncertainty associated with model-to-model variation in our predictions.

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Rift Valley Fever is an acute zoonotic viral disease caused by Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV)
that affects ruminants and humans in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. We used phylogenetic analyses to understand the demographic history of RVFV populations, using sequence data from the three minigenomic segments of the virus. We used phylogeographic approaches to infer RVFV historical movement patterns across its geographic range, and to reconstruct transitions among host species.

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The Americas are presently experiencing the most serious known outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV). Here, we present a novel set of analyses using environmental characteristics, vector mosquito distributions, and socioeconomic risk factors to develop the first map to detail global ZIKV transmission risk in multiple dimensions based on ecological niche models. Our model predictions were tested against independent evaluation data sets, and all models had predictive ability significantly better than random expectations. The study addresses urgent knowledge gaps regarding the potential geographic scope of the current ZIKV epidemic, the global potential for spread of ZIKV, and drivers of ZIKV transmission. Our analysis of potential drivers of ZIKV distributions globally identified areas vulnerable in terms of some drivers, but not for others. The results of these analyses can guide regional education and preparedness efforts, such that medical personnel will be better prepared for diagnosis of potential ZIKV cases as they appear.

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Plasmodium vivax has the broadest geographic distribution worldwide, and is a rising issue outside sub-Saharan Africa. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than a third of the world’s population, mostly in Asia and Latin America, is at risk of P. vivax malaria infection. In 2013, this parasite was responsible for more than one million cases in four countries (Ethiopia, India, Indonesia and Pakistan).

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Schistosomiasis remains a public health challenge with over 600 million people at risk of infection worldwide. Te transmission of the disease is linked to contact with infected water bodies such as rivers, streams, pools and lakes containing cercaria in endemic communities.

Schisto and Ladders™ game is a board game designed from the popular Snake and Ladders game. The game aims to elicit positive behavioural changes in players by informing and educating the players about schistosomiasis, its transmission, control, and prevention. The game is based on the concept of reward for good health behaviours by moving up a ladder and punishment for risky health behaviours by being bitten by the Schistosoma worm. The game has several health education messages presented in the children-friendly pictorial

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PERSONALITY PROFILE

Prof. Robert Tweyongyere, University of Makerere, Uganda

ARNTD Personality of the Month of May is Prof. Robert Tweyongyere, Associate Professor, and Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Resources at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity, Makerere University, Uganda.

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Dr. Ekwunife wins an EDCTP Career Development Award 

Dr. Ekwunife Ikechukwu Obinna, a Lecturer at the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy,  Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Nigeria,  is among three (3) ARNTD members who have been awarded the 2018 EDCTP Career Development Award. In this interview, he shares his experience on how early career researchers can prepare applications that could successfully compete in prestigious grants opportunities such as the EDCTP.

Dr. Alexander Kwarteng and Dr. Kingsley Badu, both of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, are the other recipients of this award and would also share their perspectives in subsequent interviews.

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OPPORTUNITIES

Call for Applications

4th Tofo Advanced Study Week on Emerging and Re-Emerging Viruses

September 01 – 05, 2019, at Praia do Tofo, Inhambane, Mozambique.

Advancing Global Immunology Education

Online Beginner to Advanced Courses and Case Studies

Contact: secretariat@arntd.org for Username/Password access

Photo Courtesy: Jean-Rivel Fondjo

Africa accounts for 40 percent of the global burden of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Last year, The Task Force and its partners launched a USAID-funded grants program to support African scientists in conducting operational research studies on the control and elimination of these diseases. The initiative was spearhead by John Amuasi, PhD, executive director of the African Research Network for NTDs (ARNTD).

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African Leaders' Demonstrate Leadership on fight against NTDs

 

At the 32nd Ordinary Summit of the African Union, heads of state reviewed progress on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) as part of a presentation by the Prime Minister of Swaziland on progress against malaria. Countries, including Ghana and Togo, were praised by the assembly for achieving elimination goals for some NTDs with more countries encouraged to follow suit. African leaders have also signed up to an initiative that will provide funding to ensure quality health for their populations.

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Three Scientists Awarded Maiden ARNTD Internal Small Grants

Three scientists have emerged as winners in the first African Research Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ARNTD) internal Small Grants Program (iSGP). The awardees, comprising one ARNTD member and two mentees, were selected from applicants coming from East, West, Central and Southern Africa following a rigorous review process.

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About Neglected Tropical Diseases

arntd

Ref: unitingtocombatntds.org

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a diverse group of communicable diseases that prevail in tropical and subtropical conditions in 149 countries and affect more than one billion people, costing developing economies billions of dollars every year. They mainly affect populations living in poverty, without adequate sanitation and in close contact with infectious vectors and domestic animals and livestock.

Effective control against NTDs can be achieved when several public health approaches are combined. Interventions are therefore guided by local epidemiology and availability of appropriate detection, prevention and control measures that can be delivered locally. Implementation of appropriate measures with high coverage will lead to achieving the WHO NTD Roadmap targets resulting in the elimination of many diseases and the eradication of at least two by 2020.

In May 2013, the 66th World Health Assembly resolved to intensify and integrate measures against neglected tropical diseases and to plan investments to improve the health and social well-being of affected populations. WHO is working with Member States to ensure the implementation of resolution WHA66.12.

 

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Nairobi, Kenya- The Governing Council of the African Academy of Science (AAS) has appointed Dr Tom Kariuki as Interim Executive Director, to serve from 7 March 2017 until a new Executive Director is selected.

Dr Kariuki is an immunologist of distinction, Fellow of the AAS and one who has served as AAS Treasurer from 2013-2014 prior to assuming his position as the Director of the AAS/NEPAD Agency’s agenda setting and funding platform – Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA).

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The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) announced today that it has selected 22 early career scientists through a merit based review process for the second cohort of the AAS Affiliates Programme that recognises exceptional young scholars.

The 22 were selected from the five regions of Africa to be AAS Affiliates from 2017 to 2021. “These young scholars have shown promise in their fields and are deserving of the recognition,” said AAS Executive Director Prof Berhanu Abegaz. “We will work with their institutions to provide them with opportunities to develop their careers and to leverage their skills and passion to contribute to Africa’s development.”

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Dr. Ayola Akim AdegnikaThe University of Tübingen has set up its first professorship in an African country. The post is sponsored by the German government-financed German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) and backed by the government of Gabon. The new professor will be based at the Centre de Recherches Médicales de Lambaréné (CERMEL) in Gabon and focus on immuno-epidemiology and clinical infection research in the tropics. Dr. Ayola Akim Adegnika has been appointed to the post for an initial five year period. Dr. Adegnika is currently co-director at CERMEL in the Gabonese town of Lambaréné, some 240km southeast of the capital Libreville.

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Louis-Albert Tchuem TchuentéThe Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) is delighted to announce the honorary appointment of Louis-Albert Tchuem Tchuenté as an NTD Ambassador.

Louis-Albert is a highly regarded senior academician and researcher who is well placed to advocate for NTD donors, governments and organizations to maintain, and increase, their commitments to achieve the World Health Organization’s Roadmap goals.

Louis-Albert will work to raise the profile of NTDs among policymakers, media and general public of the plight faced by people afflicted by them, and the importance in controlling and preventing NTDs.

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AFRICAN COUNTRIES

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RESEARCH EXPERTS

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INSTITUTIONS

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