May 17, 2010
The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases announced today that it is partnering with Fundación Mundo Sano and Instituto de Investigaciones en Enfermedades Tropicales to develop a new initiative to fight Stronglyloides stercoralis and other Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STHs) in Argentina.
Often referenced as one of the most “neglected” tropical diseases (NTDs), Strongyloides, a parasitic worm, establishes chronic infections that can be life threatening for immunocompromised patients. Initial surveys have shown that Strongyloides affect 30% of preschool-age children in the region, among the highest prevalence rate in the world. More than half of the children in these communities are also hookworm infected. As in other areas of the world, these infections thrive in poor populations without access to adequate water and sanitation.
The pilot project will address Strongyloides and STHs in the Department of Oran in the Province of Salta, Argentina. Strongyloides is rarely targeted for community based interventions because of the challenges associated with diagnosis of the parasite. The project will encompass an integrated approach to generate data on safety, impact and monitoring and evaluation of mass treatment for Strongyloides and STH to provide a model for scaling up programs, both in Argentina and other settings through surveys and analysis. The project will lead to the implementation of community-based interventions to address the public health burden of NTDs on poor populations in Argentina.
“I’m excited to say that this partnership will allow us to build an effective model that will greatly alleviate the burden of these diseases in the region,” said Patrick Lammie, Technical Director of the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases. “This is the perfect intersection between science and public health; and is just a first step to creating a long-term collaboration, both with Fundación Mundo Sano and with the Instituto de Investigaciones en Enfermedades Tropicales.”
“We have a tremendous opportunity and obligation to develop effective interventions that will improve the lives of so many people," said Dr. Silvia Gold, President of Fundación Mundo Sano. “This partnership will help us develop a model for health policy strategies in the region.”
NTDs are a group of 13 parasitic and bacterial infections that are the most common afflictions of the world’s poorest people They blind, disable, disfigure and stigmatize their victims, trapping them in a cycle of poverty and disease. Research shows that treating NTDs lifts millions out of poverty by ensuring that children stay in school to learn and prosper; by strengthening worker productivity; and by improving maternal and child health.
About The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases
The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, is an advocacy and resource mobilization initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute dedicated to raising the awareness, political will, and funding necessary to control and eliminate the seven most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs): trachoma, soil-transmitted helminths (hookworm, ascariasis, trichuriasis), onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, trachoma, and lymphatic filariasis. www.globalnetwork.org
About Sabin Vaccine Institute
Sabin Vaccine Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing human suffering from infectious and neglected diseases. Through its efforts in vaccine research, development and advocacy, Sabin works to provide greater access to vaccines and essential medicines for millions stuck in pain, poverty and despair. For more information about Sabin’s research and commitment, visit: www.sabin.org.
About Fundación Mundo Sano
Fundación Mundo Sano is a nonprofit-institution founded in 1993. Its activities and research efforts are largely focused on the field of neglected diseases including but not limited to Chagas disease, dengue, malaria, leishmaniasis, yellow fever, amongst others. Based on the integrated methods of scientific research and social intervention, its main objective is to promote equal access to health and welfare amongst human populations exposed to these avoidable diseases, mainly by encouraging strategic policies that ultimately lead to an improvement in the quality of life of affected communities. http://www.mundosano.org/
Instituto de Investigaciones en Enfermedades Tropicales
Dedicated to the investigation and assistance of patients with tropical diseases, also covers teaching duties. Opened by Professor Nestor J. Taranto in 1987, the institute is currently a national reference for parasitic diseases and the regional center for the diagnosis of leishmaniasis and STH. Currently, the areas of interest include epidemiology, diagnosis, therapeutics and public health issues related to tropical diseases. Dr. Alejandro Krolewiecki, an infectious diseases and NTD expert at the Institute, will head the project.