Featured News

New! CWW systematic review of global soil-transmitted helminthiasis prevalence and intensity studies

CWW is pleased to share a systematic literature review1 titled, “Qualitative systematic literature review of global soil-transmitted helminthiasis prevalence and intensity studies.” The literature review was undertaken to assess the availability and quality of STH data starting from 2006, when several STH endemic countries began implementing mass drug administration for STH control.

The literature review included 209 studies published between 2006 and 2018 that fit the inclusion criteria. Findings from the literature review indicated that the available STH epidemiological data are “fragmented, mostly of questionable quality, and minimally useful for regional or global program decisions.” The authors recommend a standardized approach to gathering STH program data, based on a comprehensive global monitoring and evaluation framework that will allow for pooling of information across countries and regions to guide global policy and progress.

1Diaz, Michael R., et al. (2020) Qualitative systematic literature review of global soil-transmitted helminthiasis prevalence and intensity studies.

 

 

 

Read Article →

2020 STH Advisory Committee Meeting Outcomes & Recommendations

CWW is delighted to share a summary of the 2020 STH Advisory Committee Meeting Outcomes & Recommendations.

Publication date: The meeting report was disseminated in November 2020. This summary was published online on December 15th, 2020. Please contact Children Without Worms (cww@taskforce.org) with comments or questions.

Disclaimer: Inclusion of information in this report does not constitute ‘publication.’

Please click on the link below to access the summary.

 

Read Article →

Children Without Worms (CWW) hosts the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Supply Chain Forum (SCF) meeting

CWW hosted the second of the bi-annual meetings of the NTD SCF in September 2020. Participants included representatives from national Ministries of Health, the WHO, implementing partner organizations, and pharmaceutical donors such as Merck Healthcare KGaA, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., J&J, GSK, Eisai,  and Pfizer. (Access meeting report here.)

Spread over the course of three days via a virtual platform, the meeting included updates from representatives of pharmaceutical donors and the various working groups set up to solve supply chain management challenges in delivering pharmaceutical products to endemic countries.

Attendees participate in the virtual meeting

 

The supply chain forum was particularly relevant this year, as CWW encouraged dialogue and creative solutions to COVID-19 challenges. Participants identified that with the reduction of flights, border closures and restrictions, the delivery of NTD medications has posed many challenges. Further, mass drug administrations (MDA) have decreased because of COVID-19 restrictions such as school closures. Participants noted that missed MDAs may also trigger the need for an additional MDA in 2021 to keep the programs on track.

To overcome such challenges, NTD SCF participants proposed concise measures for ensuring the delivery of medicines to affected communities. Several recommendations were made at the end of the three-day meeting, including next steps to guide the future of the NTD SCF.

The next virtual forum meeting is scheduled for February 23-24, 2021.

Cassandra Holloway, Children Without Worms (CWW) Program Support Specialist, presents at the NTD SCF

 

Access meeting report here.

Read Article →

STH Control in Bangladesh: A Photo Essay

CWW has been working with the Ministry of Health, Bangladesh and other partners to strengthen national NTD program monitoring and data management through use of the Integrated Community-Based Survey for Program Monitoring (ICSPM). Click through the slideshow below to learn more about ICSPM in Bangladesh and our collaborative progress towards elimination of STH as a public health problem among children.

Graphics: Priya Palani

Text: Rachel Wallace

Read Article →

India’s new helminth control paradigm

Together with Evidence Action and the COR-NTD secretariat, Children Without Worms facilitated a pre-meeting session called, “India’s new helminth control paradigm – Large-scale refinements: implementation, evaluation, and Roadmap development for India’s national soil-transmitted helminth control program.”

The annual meeting of the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD) is taking place virtually this year. Ahead of the COR-NTD meeting, individual sessions organized in October will inform a synthesized sessions at the COR-NTD meeting in November 2020.

Aim of the Session: 

This session details the strategic and operational development and implementation of India’s National Deworming Day (NDD), including how leading practice monitoring and evaluation activities are now enabling the Government of India to evaluate success and develop a Roadmap for the next five years of STH control.

Specific goals include:

1. Highlight an exemplar, country-led example of how a Ministry of Health program has been conducting a complex STH deworming program across the highest burden country globally
2. Analyze India’s learnings of national and international importance, towards a refined agenda for STH control and elimination of morbidity
3. Inform global best practice around appropriate STH survey methodologies and impact assessments

Presentation Titles:

  1.  Development of the Government of India’s 5-year STH Control Roadmap: designing a ‘new chapter’ in helminth control for one of the world’s largest populations
    Speaker: Dr. Sila Deb
  2. Mapping soil-transmitted helminths across the whole of India
    Speaker: Dr. C.S. Aggarwal
  3. Extensive reductions in STH in large-scale expanded and school-based impact assessments in seven states of India
    Speaker: Dr. Manoj Murhekar
  4. Evaluating the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of conducting community-based surveys of STH
    Speaker: Ms. Priya Jha

Moderator: Dr. Don Bundy

Click on the link below to watch the recording!

Read Article →

WaSH: Where’s the evidence? COR-NTD session, October 14, 2020

Together with the London Centre for NTD Research and the COR-NTD secretariat, Children Without Worms facilitated a pre-meeting session called, “WaSH: Where’s the evidence? Understanding the role of WaSH in the control of NTDs and the current research gaps.”

The annual meeting of the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD) is taking place virtually this year. Ahead of the COR-NTD meeting, individual sessions organized in October will inform a synthesized sessions at the COR-NTD meeting in November 2020.

Aim of the Session: 

Water, sanitation, and hygiene are essential for preventing and sustaining the control of neglected tropical diseases. This session summarises examples from some WaSH and NTD actors with emerging successes and challenges.

Presentation Titles:

  1. “The role of water, sanitation and hygiene interventions in reducing soil-transmitted helminths: interpreting the evidence and identifying next steps” – Dr. Susana Vaz Nery
  2. “What is the impact of WASH on STH across contexts? Evidence from a Cochrane review” – Dr. Matthew Freeman
  3. “Transmission and effects of WaSH, using biometric technology to link individual WaSH coverage with STH and schistosomiasis infection in Ethiopia” – Dr. Anna Phillips
  4. “Developing the WASH for NTDs Research Agenda – what is the way forward?” – Dr. Sarity Dodson

Moderators: Ms. Yael Velleman, SCI Foundation, and Dr. Pauline Mwinzi, WHO AFRO

Watch the recording by clicking on the link below!

Read Article →

Video highlights Bangladesh’s success in fighting intestinal worms

CWW is delighted to share a new video that showcases our collaborative efforts to control and prevent intestinal worm infections in Bangladesh. Working in close partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Bangladesh, and other partners for over 10 years, CWW has been supporting disease surveillance activities to improve the quality and range of public health interventions in endemic communities. The short video makes it evident that public health interventions such as intestinal worm control are the result of the dedicated efforts of public health professionals at different levels of the public health and education systems, including community health workers, medical officers, pharmacists, logisticians, school teachers, and community members like Ms. Mosammat Aleya, who talks about her experiences with the community-based deworming program in Saidpur, Bangladesh.

Our partnership in Bangladesh has been made possible through sustained funding from Johnson & Johnson, whose deworming drug donations since 2006 have scaled-up the global STH control program.

Watch the video here.

Read Article →

Partners launch new initiative to protect against health emergencies

The Trinity Challenge is a new global initiative launched by 22 founding partners, including GSK, a CWW donor, to promote new and innovative ways of harnessing data and analytics to fight pandemics and prevent future health emergencies. This coalition of global partners will “work together to better protect the world against health emergencies.”

As part of this challenge, interested individuals and organizations are invited to submit impact-driven ideas on protecting health and economic systems from the threat of global health emergencies.

Formal applications for the challenge will open in early October and more information can be found here.

Read Article →

STH Coalition Webinar Recording: M&E innovations by Kenya NTD partners to strengthen program data

The August 2020 webinar featured presentations from Evidence Action, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Children Without Worms on STH operations research in Kenya. Click on the link below to access the webinar recording on CWW’s Youtube channel!

Read Article →

STH Coalition Webinar: STH Operations Research in Kenya

 STH Operations Research in Kenya

We look forward to seeing you at our next STH Coalition webinar on August 25th, 2020, 9.00-10.30 AM EDT on STH Operations Research in Kenya.

Zoom Meeting Link: https://zoom.us/j/95374115652?pwd=ZGl1Unl2WThiZW4rcEtqV1dhbVhlUT09

Dr. Sultani Matendechero,Head, Division of Vector Borne & Neglected Tropical Diseases, Ministry of Health, Kenya, and member of the STH Advisory Committee, will chair and facilitate the webinar.

 

The webinar will feature the following presentations:

Findings from phone-based STH coverage validation in Kenya, Andrew Kitchel, Manager, Analytics, Global Monitoring, Learning, and Evaluation, Evidence Action

Andrew Kitchel is the Analytics Manager for the Monitoring, Learning, and Evaluation team at Evidence Action, where he leads design, analysis, and reporting of monitoring and evaluation for the Deworm the World Initiative. Andrew has been with Evidence Action for two years and has spent time working with their early-stage programs, Deworm the World Initiative, and the Dispensers for Safe Water program on data collection, management, and analysis for research and monitoring.

Implementer & recipient perspectives of community-wide mass drug administration for soil-transmitted helminths in Kwale County, Kenya, Hugo Legge, Member, London Center for NTDs Research & Research Assistant, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Hugo Legge is a Research Assistant at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) with an interest in environmental health and neglected tropical diseases. He holds an MSc in Public Health from LSHTM and is currently acting as the Clinical Trial Operations Coordinator for the DeWorm3 Project, a multi-country cluster randomized trial evaluating the feasibility of interrupting transmission of soil-transmitted helminths (STH). Most recently, he has published work exploring the acceptability of community-wide mass drug administration for STH among implementers and recipients in Kwale County, Kenya.

Technical capacity building for community-wide STH and SCH surveillance in Kenya, Sanjaya Dhakal, Epidemiologist, & Cara Tupps, Associate Director of Programs, Children Without Worms

As an Epidemiologist, Sanjaya Dhakal 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.

As Associate Director of Programs, Cara Tupps oversees CWW’s work in Kenya and is responsible for providing programmatic support to partners. 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.Please forward this announcement to interested colleagues!

Webinar Details:Date & Time: August 25th, 2020, 9:00-10:30 AM EDT (8 AM U.S. central time, 9 AM Atlanta time, 2 PM London/BST time, 4 PM, Nairobi/EAT time)

Zoom Meeting Link: https://zoom.us/j/95374115652?pwd=ZGl1Unl2WThiZW4rcEtqV1dhbVhlUT09

Meeting ID: 953 7411 5652

Passcode: sthccall

One tap mobile
+14702509358,,95374115652# US (Atlanta)
+14703812552,,95374115652# US (Atlanta)

Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/akyYJ1ver
Join by SIP: 95374115652@zoomcrc.com

Add this event to your google calendar. 

If you have any questions, please contact Webinar host: Girija Sankar at gsankar at taskforce dot org.

 

Read Article →

CWW in Kenya: A Photo Essay

CWW has been working with the Ministry of Health, Kenya and other partners to strengthen national NTD epidemiology and data management. Click through the slideshow below to see how our collaborative efforts have progressed since 2019.

Graphics: Priya Palani

Text: Girija Sankar

Read Article →

All Hands on Deck: A synchronized approach to fighting COVID-19

In a new paper published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, Rubina Imtiaz, MBBS, CWW Director, and other global public health experts called for a unified response to the coronavirus pandemic. Calling it an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach, the experts proposed a list of tools and institutional mechanisms to advance the unified approach. The publication drew on experiences from previous epidemic outbreaks like the Ebola outbreaks and the successes of multilateral platforms like the NTD Supply Chain Forum, facilitated by CWW, to form a global, COVID-19 mitigation framework with tools for a collaborative pandemic response. Reflecting on the role of institutions, the authors offered the following example:

“[T]he Task Force for Global Health convened a virtual meeting across 46 global entities representing pharmaceutical commodity donors, implementing partners and shippers, under WHO leadership to assess and respond to anticipated interruptions in critical supply chain of deworming drugs. This rapid consultation across multilaterals and private sector entities helped rapidly access existing platforms such as the DHL Control Tower for Humanitarian Supply Chain to assist the movement of medical supplies and other essential drugs from China to the rest of the world.” (Ebrahim, Zhou, et al. 2020).

Dr. Imtiaz added that “examples like the NTD Supply Chain Forum, facilitated by CWW, show us the importance of a multilateral approach in mitigating global, public health crises by helping to rapidly adapt existing and new platforms and mechanisms for a response. During a global crisis like COVID-19, our response should not be the sole responsibility of one sector, but the responsibility of all sectors to work together.”

CWW has also been working with partners to assess delays to deworming, and other NTD campaigns. CWW is supporting national deworming programs to focus on those activities that can continue during the pandemic per WHO interim guidelines on community- and facility-based care.

Reference:

Ebrahim, S. H., Zhuo, J., Gozzer, E., Ahmed, Q. A., Imtiaz, R., Ahmed, Y., Doumbia, S., Rahman, N., Elachola, H., Wilder-Smith, A., & Memish, Z. A. (2020). All Hands on Deck: A Synchronized Whole-of-World Approach for COVID-19 Mitigation. International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases, S1201-9712(20)30484-7. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2020.06.049

Read Article →

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.

References:

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). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-08755-w

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

Read Article →

CWW telework update

Dear colleagues and partners,

Due to the spread of the COVID-19 viral infection, the CWW and Task Force for Global Health offices will be closed until April 30, 2020.  All staff will be telecommuting and this should in no way delay responses to your email or other communications.  We will review the conditions/state of emergency at the end of April and make a decision accordingly.  In the meanwhile, we hope your friends, families, and communities are staying well and safe in these uncertain times. We stand in solidarity with health workers around the world working tirelessly to protect our communities.

Stay well!

CWW team

Read Article →

Ms. Mariana Stephens to join CWW as new Deputy Director

Children Without Worms (CWW), a program of the Task Force for Global Health, is pleased to share that Ms. Mariana Stephens will be joining the team as our new Deputy Director in January 2020. Before joining the CWW team, Mariana worked with the NTD Support Center (NTD-SC), another program of the Task Force, supporting strategic planning efforts and directing the development and implementation of complex, multi-institutional operational research programs.  In this role, she focused on addressing the special challenges of national NTD programs supported by USAID and provided rapid research responses in support of these programs. In additon to her role at the Task Force, Mariana is an active member of the Center for Global Safe Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (CGSW) at Emory University. The mission of the CGSW is to enable organizations and communities to provide safe, effective, and sustainable drinking water solutions and effective and sustainable sanitation and hygiene improvements.

Prior to joining the NTD-SC, Mariana worked with CARE, World Vision International and Habitat for Humanity International in a variety of roles focused on Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, Maternal and Child Health, Food Security and Nutrition. She began her career in global health and development in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mali serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the late 1980s.  Mariana holds a Master’s in Public Health in Health Behavior and a Bachelor’s in Environmental Design.

Read Article →

Building sustainable epidemiological capacity to eliminate NTDs in Kenya

A historic partnership in Kenya will allow the Ministry of Health (MOH) to generate new, robust evidence to map Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH or intestinal worms) and develop targeted interventions at the community-level in line with the national program’s “Breaking Transmission Strategy” (BTS).

With support from Children Without Worms (CWW), the NTD program in Kenya is partnering with the Kenya Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP) to strengthen the national program capacity for NTD epidemiology and data management. The FELTP and NTD programs are both part of the Kenya MOH, so the CWW-facilitated partnership leverages in-country epidemiology resources to sustainably and efficiently address the NTD program information needs.

Dr. Stephen Mwatha, an FELTP graduate now at the NTD Department, and Dr. Denver Mariga, a first-year FELTP resident supported by CWW and placed at the NTD Department, visited CWW for a weeklong training workshop on developing community-based, baseline BTS surveys to define the epidemiology, deworming coverage and WASH factors at household level in selected counties. These surveys will provide data that are directly linked to the BTS impact indicators and therefore, will facilitate program decisions for STH and Schistosomiasis elimination goals. Drs. Mwatha and Mariga will lead the in-country training, implementation, and analysis of survey data and help the national STH program to translate survey findings into program actions including intervention and policy changes.

Dr. Sultani Hadley Matendechero, head of the Division of Vector-Borne and Neglected Tropical Diseases in Kenya said, “With the help of new data on disease prevalence, we shall work with partners to target interventions to where they are most needed, as a means of accelerating progress towards breaking the transmission of debilitating diseases like intestinal worm infections.”

Kenya has been supporting school-based deworming campaigns at scale since 2012. This new partnership will allow Kenya to assess STH prevalence in additional risk groups such as women of reproductive age, pre-school age children, and children who are unable to attend school. Armed with community-based prevalence data, the Kenyan NTD program will be able to scale-up deworming treatments to vulnerable communities.

Rubina Imtiaz, CWW Director, said, “The partnership between the NTD program and the FELTP is a replicable, efficient model for building sustainable epidemiologic capacity within national NTD programs and is a game-changer in the progress towards eliminating NTDs in Kenya and potentially, in all of Africa.”

The community-based surveys are scheduled to begin in November 2019 in Vihiga, and later, Bomet and Narok counties.

About Children Without Worms: CWW is dedicated to ending suffering from intestinal worm infections by building national capacity for STH morbidity elimination through evidence-based approaches and strengthening partnerships to support comprehensive STH solutions.

About FELTP: FELTPs are country-owned programs that develop a national field epidemiologist cadre through hands-on training or apprenticeship models based on CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) program. FELTP trainees master core competencies in field epidemiology that are vital to the practice of public health, while providing valuable public health services to their countries and regions. Learn more about FELTPs here:

https://www.tephinet.org/

http://www.afenet.net/

Read Article →