29 January 2018

Fostering dialogue on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) worldwide

In 2017, the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium continued its dialogue on NTDs, and on schistosomiasis in particular, by engaging with stakeholders and experts through presentations and participations at international conferences. 

The year 2017 closed with presentations at events in Europe and in Japan.  Consortium members were invited to present about the progress of the program at the Swiss TPH Winter Symposium (in Basel) and at the GHIT R&D Forum (in Tokyo). This offered unique opportunities to engage with critical stakeholders, and to foster and develop partnerships. 

The Basel Symposium, organized by Consortium partner Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (TPH), welcomed over 160 international experts and scientists who critically reviewed innovations in diagnostics and drugs, and discussed control strategies to potentially stop transmission of parasitic worm infections. 

An invitation to speak at the GHIT R&D Forum confirmed the very productive collaboration being achieved with the Japanese organization, which represents one of the major funders of the Consortium program.

Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium at GHIT R&D Forum (left to right): Dr Hayato Urabe (GHIT), Dr Remco de Vrueh (Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium), Dr Daisuke Imoto (DNDi) and Dr Katsura Hata (Eisai)

In the second half of 2017, Consortium members also promoted the program worldwide and ensured scientific exchanges at conferences in the US, in Europe, and in Brazil.

As in previous years, the 66th ASTMH Annual Meeting held in Baltimore represented a great opportunity to meet with tropical medicine and global health professionals from different sectors.  Consortium members also played a role at the closed COR-NTD Annual Meeting, which reviewed the synergies within the operational research arena for NTDs.

October was the month of the World Health Summit (Berlin), one of the world’s most prominent fora addressing global health issues. Presentations and interactions showcased the role of public-private partnerships (like the Consortium) as an ideal model to synergize and join forces against neglected tropical diseases. 

Schistosomiasis is not neglected in Brazil.  The Consortium was invited in August during the 53rd Congress of the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine to present the progress of the program currently in Phase II. Once more, the congress fostered dialogue with stakeholders in Brazil, an important country for the program beyond African countries. 

To sum up, in 2017 the Pediatric PZQ formulation program has caught the attention of the schistosomiasis community more and more. By addressing the unmet medical needs of infected preschool-age children, the program certainly represents an essential component within the control and elimination agenda for this disease.