Monthly Archives: May 2020

Ms. Seung Lee

Ms. Seung Lee is the Senior Director of School Health and Nutrition (SHN) at Save the Children. She has over 25 years of experience in international development specializing in health and education, including WASH in schools. She has a strong background in partnership building among governments and international agencies and working cross-sectorally in health and education. Ms. Lee joined Save the Children (SC) in January 2004 as the SHN Advisor for Africa, based in Ethiopia. She returned to Washington, DC in March 2006 and is now the Sr. Director for SHN. Through her work with Save the Children, Ms. Lee has provided strategic direction and technical assistance to SC’s SHN programs and leads a team of SHN specialists and project managers to ensure quality programming globally. She supports the FRESH (Focusing on Resources on Effective School Health) partnership and was a steering committee member of the UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team on Education (IATT). Previously, she worked for the World Bank supporting national-level SHN efforts in Africa and assisted in the World Bank’s support for HIV/AIDS and education programming. Seung has a BA from Dartmouth College and an MA from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

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Dr. Bruno Levecke

Dr. Bruno Levecke is the coordinator of Starworms, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded project that aims to develop and validate tools to strengthen monitoring and surveillance of drug efficacy and anthelmintic resistance in soil-transmitted control programs based on preventive chemotherapy. Dr. Levecke is also a trained veterinarian and holds both a PhD degree in Veterinary Sciences and an MSc degree in Statistical Data Analysis of Ghent University.

Dr. Levecke has been working extensively in the STH arena in areas such as diagnosis and drug efficacy. He is currently the head of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Monitoring Drug Efficacy against soil-transmitted helminths.

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Sanjaya Dhakal, PhD

As an Epidemiologist, Sanjaya leads in the development of survey tools, provides country-specific scientific leadership in survey implementation, data management, curation, and analysis. Sanjaya brings experience in both the government and private sectors. His prior experience includes working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for eight years in different capacities, including a tour as an EIS Officer at the Food and Drug Administration. He was part of the CDC’s response to the H1N1 outbreak in the U.S. and the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. He also worked as a consultant at BlueCross BlueShield Association and the World Health Organization. His research domains include outbreak investigations, epidemiologic methods, and public health program development and evaluation.

He holds a doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh, an MPhil from the University of Bergen, Norway, and an MSc from Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Nepal.

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Dr. Hadley Matendechero Sultani

Dr. Hadley Matendechero Sultani is a consultant psychiatric pharmacist with a master’s degree in clinical pharmacy from the University of Nairobi. He currently serves as the Head, Division of Vector Borne and Neglected Tropical Diseases in the Kenya Ministry of Health. With encouragement from colleagues and stakeholders, he took up the role of national NTD program pharmacist in January 2014 and rapidly rose through the ranks to the position of national NTD program manager in late 2015. This appointment completed his shift of focus from mental health to NTD control. His goal is to achieve elimination of at least five NTDs in Kenya by 2025. Dr. Sultani currently serves as a member of the National Executive Committee of the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya. He is a member of the Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis (STH) Coalition, STH Advisory Committee, and the External Advisory Committee of the Scientific Research Partnership for Neglected Tropical Snakebite (SRPNTS). He is the current chairman of the Leishmaniasis East Africa Platform (LEAP) Advisory Committee, where his main objective is to establish a common regional strategy towards elimination of Kala Azar.

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Cara Tupps, MScPH

Cara supports the overall technical and operational functions of CWW. Cara oversees CWW’s work in Kenya and is responsible for providing programmatic support to the partners there. She also contributes to the analysis and mapping of program data across multiple counties. Before joining the team, Cara worked in humanitarian relief and development in 10 different countries. Her experience includes capacity building, proposal development, grant management, donor relations, monitoring and evaluation, emergency and outbreak response, and managing country portfolios. She also served as a United States Peace Corps volunteer in Mozambique, where she helped to develop community-based health education programs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Auburn University and an MSc in Public Health for Development from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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Dr. Rachel Pullan

Dr. Rachel Pullan is an Assistant Professor in Infectious Disease Epidemiology in the Department of Disease Control at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).. She leads the London Applied & Spatial Epidemiology Research (LASER) group which specializes in GIS, spatial analysis, and field-based research, including large-cluster randomized trials of public health interventions. She also serves as Associate Director of the London Centre for NTD Research, and Associate Editor with PLOS NTDs.

Dr. Pullan received a BSc from Imperial College and an MSc and PhD from LSHTM.

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Ms. Lisa Rotondo

Ms. Lisa Rotondo is a leading global expert in the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), having worked extensively with ministries of health, the World Health Organization (WHO), the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations to lead, implement, and advocate for NTD programs around the world. She is currently the Director of USAID’s Act to End NTDs | East Program. She also served as Director for USAID’s ENVISION project—a global flagship project aiming to control and eliminate seven NTDs by the year 2020.

In addition to providing leadership and technical and operations oversight for RTI NTD project activities, Ms. Rotondo serves as a member of the Trachoma Expert Committee and the STH Advisory Committee, provided four years’ executive leadership to the NTD Non-Government Organization Network (NNN), and is a former member of the Uniting to Combat NTDs Stakeholder Working Group. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso and is fluent in English and French.

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Dr. Jürg Utzinger

Dr. Jürg Utzinger is the Director of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), an associated institute of the University of Basel and Professor of Epidemiology at the Faculty of Science of the University of Basel. He was trained in environmental sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, holds a PhD in epidemiology from the University of Basel, and pursued four years of postdoctoral research in demography and epidemiology at Princeton University in the U.S. Before his appointment as Director of Swiss TPH, Dr. Utzinger headed the Ecosystem Health Sciences Unit at Swiss TPH. His research, teaching, and training interests pertain to epidemiology, diagnosis, and integrated control of neglected tropical disease and malaria and health impact assessment of large footprint projects in low- and middle-income countries. He is engaged in transnational global health projects in Africa and Asia.

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Sallay Manah

As Program Assistant, Sallay provides administrative, programmatic, and logistical support to the CWW team. Before joining CWW, Sallay worked in both domestic and global health. Domestically, Sallay worked at the Department of Health and Human Services’ CMS Innovation Center where she was the Communications and Monitoring and Evaluation Lead for the Value-Based Insurance Design and Part D Enhanced Medication Therapy Management models. Her global health experience includes serving as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia. During her tenure, she helped develop and implement antiretroviral therapy adherence programs for adolescents living with HIV/AIDS within the Oshana and Oshikoto regions in the rural northern part of the country. Sallay holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Administration from California State University.

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New CWW publication provides deworming program with evidence to adjust Mass Drug Administration

new paper1 published in the BMC Public Health shows that population-based disease mapping surveys such as the Integrated Community-Based Survey for Program Monitoring (ICSPM) can support monitoring for mature deworming programs that have delivered Soil-Transmitted Helminth (STH) interventions for five or more years. The paper resulted from Children Without Worms’ long-standing partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), Bangladesh, to provide robust data to its Lymphatic Filariasis and STH Program to assess progress towards eliminating STH infections as a public health problem. After eight years of twice-annual mass drug administration (MDA) to school-aged children, the National Program surveyed four districts between August and October 2017 using ICSPM to determine the prevalence and intensity of STH. The ICSPM expands on the WHO’s guidelines for transmission assessment surveys for Lymphatic Filariasis (LF)2. The surveys revealed that the MDAs impacted STH prevalence in three of the four districts (3.4-5%), while it remained high in Sirajganj district (23.4-29.1%). As a result of these findings, the National Program is reviewing the frequency of MDA to adjust it in impacted areas and improve the quality and range of interventions in the persistent high-prevalence districts.

According to this paper, the ICSPM provides deworming programs with a new way to map STH (at baseline or impact).

Dr. Rubina Imtiaz, Director of Children Without Worms, and a co-author on this study said, “The study demonstrates that community-level parasitological data is necessary to understand the true impact of deworming interventions,” and that, ” the ICSPM provides National Programs with the kind of evidence needed to streamline resources to communities with high burden and scale back interventions in areas that have shown to have low burden.”

Since 2016, CWW has engaged with National STH Programs in Kenya and Sierra Leone to use the ICSPM for assessing progress in deworming interventions, as part of its broader strategy to build sustainable epidemiologic capacity for NTD program monitoring.


1Davlin, S.L., Jones, A.H., Tahmina, S. et al. Soil-transmitted helminthiasis in four districts in Bangladesh: household cluster surveys of prevalence and intervention status. BMC Public Health 20, 672 (2020).

2World Health Organization. Assessing the Epidemiology of Soil-transmitted Helminths during a Transmission Assessment Survey in the Global Programme for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2015.

Study images credit: Davlin, S..L., Jones, A.H., et al (2020)1Creative Commons license

Banner image credit: A.S.M. Maruf Kabir for Children Without Worms

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Soil-transmitted helminthiasis in four districts in Bangladesh: household cluster surveys of prevalence and intervention status.

Davlin, S.L., Jones, A.H., Tahmina, S. et al. Soil-transmitted helminthiasis in four districts in Bangladesh: household cluster surveys of prevalence and intervention status. BMC Public Health 20, 672 (2020).

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