International Health supplement: Reflections on accomplishments in the prevention, treatment and management of consequences of NTDs

04 Mar 2016

We are delighted to announce the publication of a freely available NTD NGDO Network (NNN) supplement to the March issue of International Health.

The supplement is Guest Edited by Paul Emerson (International Trachoma Initiative, Task Force for Global Health) and Kim Koporc (Immediate Past Chair NNN and Children Without Worms, Task Force for Global Health); it is the collaboration of many organisations, including RTI International, Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, SightSavers, Mectizan Donation Programme, Children Without Worms, National Podoconosis Action Network and WaterAid to name just a few and includes reviews, commentaries and original research articles on the cross-cutting issues affecting the control and elimination of NTDs, achievements spearheaded by NNN member organisations and priorities for future work. These articles expand on presentations given at the 6th Annual meeting of the NNN (Abu Dhabi, September 2015).

The supplement starts with an article by the current and past chairs of the NNN, describing the NNN's structure, accomplishments and future directions. For an example of how NNN’s community works together, the article by Kebede and colleagues presents a case study of how NGDOs and the Ministry of Health, with resources from donors, combined forces to scale-up NTD interventions to treat at-risk populations across the entire nation of Ethiopia. A paper by Hopkins describes the role and structure of the new Expanded Special Project for the Elimination of NTDs, which includes representation of the NNN, and Fitzpatrick and Engels present the case for the NTD global indicator.

As the NTD programs continue to scale-up, questions arise regarding the most effective approaches and, as the WHO NTD Roadmap target dates for elimination of NTDs loom closer, new tools are needed to speed up the process. The article by Toledo and colleagues presents a framework for a rapid research response to challenges faced by NNN member organisation initiatives.

A summary of WHO’s global strategy on WASH and NTDs is presented in a paper by Velleman and colleagues, along with a complementary paper by Waite and colleagues, which presents the recent history of collaboration and identifies priorities and mechanisms for enhanced coordination between the NTD and WASH communities.

This supplement also includes three articles on stigma and other consequences from NTDs. The first article, by Mieras and colleagues, presents the outcomes of a workshop convened by the Morbidity Management and Disability Working Group of the NNN. The second article, by Hofstraat and van Brakel, presents the results of a literature review to identify the extent of social stigma related to NTDs, and the third article, by van’t Noordende and colleagues documents the process undertaken to develop the toolkit for cross-NTD morbidity and disability assessment.

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