RSTMH and Tropical Data to start publications partnership

24 May 2024
Credit: RTI International, ENVISION project, Nepal     Caption: Taken during Trachoma Surveillance Survey in Baitadi district of Nepal, 2017. Pictured are Narendra Sharma (grader performing the survey) and Rama Chettri, 8 years of age.

The RSTMH journal International Health will be publishing an editorial that looks at the history of Tropical Data, a consortium of partners that helps countries carry out surveys as they work towards eliminating trachoma.

Tropical Data and the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (RSTMH) have agreed to a new partnership, in which RSTMH’s International Health journal will act as a platform for publishing accepted articles, featuring the latest data from Tropical Data-supported surveys. 

To launch the partnership, International Health will be publishing an editorial that looks at the history of Tropical Data and some innovations that it has introduced to improve the way surveys are carried out.  

This will be accompanied by a research article that focuses on Nigeria's progress towards trachoma elimination, and highlights the key role that surveys have played in supporting the country’s efforts. 

“We’re delighted to be launching this new partnership with the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, which will support health ministries and their partners to share the latest results from trachoma surveys around the world.  

“This will help to promote transparency and improve the knowledge base around trachoma and its prevalence. It will also provide opportunities for countries and programmes to learn from each other, as the global trachoma community works towards eliminating this disease as a public health problem by 2030.” 

Emma Harding-Esch, Tropical Data’s Chief Scientist

Tropical Data is a collaboration between endemic countries, their partners, and a core team including staff from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, International Trachoma Initiative, Sightsavers, and RTI International through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Act to End NTDs | East programme


“We are delighted to be publishing this editorial and look forward to the opportunity to share more interesting findings under this partnership in the months to come. Under our new strategy we are very excited about using all of our communication channels and activities to ensure important research and learnings from our community are shared as widely as possible.” 

Tamar Ghosh, RSTMH Chief Executive

Tropical Data supports health ministries worldwide to conduct high quality, epidemiologically robust trachoma prevalence surveys, with support at every stage of the survey process. It was established in February 2016, building on the methods and technologies developed as part of the Global Trachoma Mapping Project. In its eight years of existence, it has supported 3,739 surveys across 52 countries, with survey teams examining over 12 million people. 

It is important for survey methodologies to be shared with the global community for quality control and transparency purposes. Equally, health ministry publication of survey rationale, methods, results and interpretation allows others to learn from their experiences, and provides them with external peer review of data to substantiate a claim to the World Health Organization for validation of elimination of trachoma as a public health problem.