Act | East at COR-NTD & ASTMH 2023

06 Oct 2023

This October, professionals in global health, tropical medicine, and hygiene are convening in Chicago, IL for sessions on the latest research and innovations in the global health field.

The 2023 Coalition for Operational Research Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD) Annual Meeting will take place October 16-17. Act | East experts will contribute to two breakout sessions focusing on lessons learned from efforts towards NTD control and elimination.

The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) is hosting its 2023 annual meeting from October 18-22. Act | East experts will be leading and contributing to five symposia, three scientific sessions, and 12 poster presentations - from hotspots to insecurity, indigenous populations to electronic data capture, and much more.

COR-NTD | October 16-17, 2023

What’s Next in Never Treatment in MDA: Three Years of Learning and Next Steps

  • Moderator: Molly Brady, RTI International, USA

  • Moderator: Dr. Alison Krentel, University of Ottawa

  • What does modeling tell us about never treatment? Deirdre Hollingsworth, Big Data Institute at University of Oxford

  • Understanding the barriers and facilitators related to never treatment during MDA among mobile and migrant populations in Mali, Dr. Moussa Sangare, ICER-Mali

  • Never treatment in a programmatic context: fishing communities in Tanzania, Dr. Faraja Lyamuya, Ministry of Health, Tanzania

  • The WHO NTD never treatment toolkit, Jonathan King, World Health Organization, Geneva


Surveillance for trachoma: What knowledge gaps remain in developing and deploying a surveillance system for trachoma and how can operational research fill them?

  • Moderator: Jeremiah Ngondi, RTI International, United Kingdom

  • Literature review of trachoma post-validation surveillance plans and practice, Stephanie Palmer, FHI360

  • Utilizing routine reporting for post-validation surveillance, Ghana Health Service

  • Prioritizing PVS in areas where trachoma is most likely to recrudescence, Clara Burgert, RTI International

  • The promise of serology as a PVS tool, Diana Martin

  • Essentials of infectious disease surveillance, TBD

ASTMH | October 18-22, 2023

Thursday, October 19th
8:00 – 9:45 AM U.S. Central Time Zone

Grand Hall L – Ballroom Level (East Tower)

Reaching indigenous populations with NTDs interventions

  • Symposium Organizer: Upendo Mwingira, RTI International, Washington DC, USA

  • Co-Chair: Margaret Baker, Georgetown University, USA

  • Addressing barriers of community participation and access to MDA for trachoma using participatory approaches in a pastoral conflict area of Kenya, Doris Njomo, KEMRI

  • How to gain entry to and empower communities to deliver MDA to NTDs: A case study of the Maasai population in Tanzania, Stella Mwita, WI-HER, Tanzania

  • Building back trust for Yaws MDA after COVID in “custom villages” in Vanuatu, South Pacific, Fasiha Taleo, WHO

  • Overview of the literature in delivering campaigns to Minority populations, Margaret Baker, Georgetown University, USA

  • Implementation of Onchocerciasis MDA in Yanomami Communities in Venezuela, Oscar Noya, Venezuela

10:15 AM – 12:00 PM U.S. Central Time Zone

Grand Ballroom A - Ballroom Level (East Tower)

Reaching conflict affected areas for neglected tropical diseases, malaria, and polio - barriers to elimination

  • Symposium Organizer: Michael French, RTI International, Washington DC, USA

  • Conflict-affected and fragile states – setting the scene, Liz Hume, Alliance for Peace Building

  • Reaching conflict affected areas, lessons from Polio, Babar Khan, RTI International

  • Impact of insecurity on malaria in Tigray, Ethiopia, Hiwot Solomon, Ministry of Health, Ethiopia

  • Implementing a lymphatic filariasis program during conflict, natural disasters, and political instability, Farah Momprevil, Ministry of Health, Haiti

  • Adapting Conflict Sensitive approaches to trachoma in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, Henis Sitoe, Ministry of Health, Mozambique

Poster Session A | 11:30 AM – 1:15 PM U.S. Central Time Zone

Riverside Center – Exhibit Level (East Tower) and Grand Hall GHI

Building the capacity of National Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) Facilitators to improve NTD MDA outcomes

  • Presenter: Stella Mwita, WI-HER, USA

Impact of Wuchereria bancrofti infection on cervical mucosal immunity of women in Lindi, Tanzania

  • Presenter: Inge Kroidl, Medical Center of the University of Munich (LMU), Munich, Germany

5:50 – 7:35 PM U.S. Central Time Zone

Grand Hall L – Ballroom Level (East Tower)

The Path to Evidence-Based Action to Reach Those Left Behind by Mass Drug Administration and Vaccination Programs

  • Symposium organizer: Alison Krentel, School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa

  • Co-chair: Dziedzom De Souza, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research

  • Reaching those who are left behind in mass public health campaigns: using evidence to generate action, Alison Krentel, School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa

  • Results from the GAVI zero-dose learning agenda: Bangladesh and Mali experiences, Heidi Reynolds, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

  • What can programmatic data tell us about links between never treatment and infection? Molly Brady, RTI International

  • The case of cross-border never treatment among countries in the South-East Asia Region, Aya Yajima, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana

Friday, October 20th
Poster Session B | Noon – 1:45pm U.S. Central Time Zone

Riverside Center – Exhibit Level (East Tower) and Grand Hall GHI

Enhancing Timeliness of Reporting for Trachoma Mass Drug Administration (MDA) through Electronic Data Capture (EDC): A pilot study in two districts of Uganda

  • Presenter: Edwin Mayoki Andama, RTI International, Kampala, Uganda

Experience on the use of Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) for decision making in Determining Onchocerciasis Transmission in Njombe Town Council

  • Presenter: Julius Masanika, RTI International, Tanzania

Integration of assessment of Lymphatic Filariasis morbidity in community-based surveys for the successful elimination of disease in Tanzania

  • Presenter: Veronica Kabona, RTI International, Tanzania

Monitoring Trachoma Mass Administration (MDA) using an electronic Supervisor Coverage Tool (SCT)

  • Presenter: Joyce Achan, RTI International, Uganda

Understanding the role of population migration in diseases diffusion: Fine-Scale Delineation of Trachoma Prevalence by Confirmatory Mapping in Eleven Districts Contagious to Districts With High Baseline Prevalence in Tanzania

  • Presenter: Ambakisye Mhiche, RTI International, Tanzania

Use of biomarkers to monitor trachoma prevalence after implementation of more frequent than annual MDA in Maasai communities in northern Tanzania

  • Co-presenter: William Oswald, RTI International, United Kingdom

  • Co-presenter: Veronica Kabona, RTI International, Tanzania

From Priority to Practice: Making application of digital platforms for improving Trachoma MDA performance a reality towards addressing End game challenges in Longido, Tanzania

  • Presenter: George E. Kabona, National Neglected Tropical Diseases Control Program, Dodoma, Tanzania

Virtual Directly Observed Treatment Pilot during Lymphatic Filariasis Mass Drug Administration

  • Presenter: Alain Javel, RTI International, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Saturday, October 21st
Poster Session C | 11:00 AM - 12:45 PM U.S. Central Time Zone

Riverside Center – Exhibit Level (East Tower) and Grand Hall GHI

Addressing the last mile challenge for Onchocerciasis Elimination: Leveraging Digitalized Supervisor Coverage Tool for MDA Improvement and strengthening Community Drug Distributors (CDD) performance in Mahenge Focus, Tanzania

  • Presenter: Dorica Burengelo, RTI International, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Better Data, Better Decisions: Using Electronic Data Collection to Advance LF Elimination in Haiti

  • Presenter: Carl Renand Fayette, RTI International, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Preventative chemotherapy for Trachoma in mobile and migratory populations: A collaborative approach between countries

  • Presenter: Joyce Achan, RTI International, Kampala, Uganda

3:15 – 5:00 PM U.S. Central Time Zone

Results from an enhanced trachoma impact survey in four low prevalence districts of Mozambique, 2022

  • RTI presenter: William Oswald, RTI International, London, United Kingdom

4:00 – 5:45 PM U.S. Central Time Zone

Methods for trachoma surveys among mobile and migrant populations of Kween and Bulambuli Districts, Eastern Uganda

  • Presenter: Jeremiah Ngondi, RTI International, United Kingdom

Sunday, October 22nd
8:00 – 9:45 AM U.S. Central Time Zone

Grand Hall K - Ballroom Level (East Tower)

Overcoming the challenges of PC-NTD hotspots

  • Symposium organizer: Anna Phillips, FHI360

  • Co-Chair: Upendo Mwingira, RTI International, USA

  • Patterns of individual compliance to anthelmintic treatment for soil-transmitted helminths in Southern Ethiopia over many rounds of mass drug administration, Rosie Maddren, Imperial College

  • Schistosomiasis hotspots: defining areas of high-risk through micro-mapping in West Africa, Anna Phillips, FHI360

  • Overcoming hotspots for Lymphatic filariasis in Ghana and potential strategies for strengthening surveillance, Ernest K.Mensah, FHI360

  • Trachoma Impact & Surveillance – lessons learned from survey failures, Clara Burgert, RTI International

11:30 AM – 1:15 PM U.S. Central Time Zone

Grand Hall K - Ballroom Level (East Tower)

Vector Control and Surveillance: The Role of Entomology in Onchocerciasis and Its Implication for Verification of Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination

  • Symposium Organizer: Upendo Mwingira, RTI International

  • Co-Chair: Darin Evans, U.S. Agency for International Development

  • Vector control and surveillance of onchocerciasis in Uganda: Why there and not everywhere? David Ogutu, Ministry of Health, Uganda

  • Recrudescence of Onchocerciasis in Metema sub focus, Ethiopia: Why vector monitoring was critical, Kadu Meribo, Ministry of Health, Ethiopia

  • Modeling interventions for interruption of transmission: oncho vs. LF, Edwin Micheal, University of South Florida, USA

  • Xenomonitoring for LF: Practical Experience, Sammy Njenga, KEMRI

  • Overcoming end game challenges: When is vector control appropriate for oncho and LF and how do countries implement those efforts, Moses Katabarwa, RTI International

12:45 – 2:30 PM U.S. Central Time Zone

Building the capacity of community influencers to increase the equity and impact of Uganda's trachoma response

  • Presenter: Dr. Hilda Kyarisiima, Ministry of Health, Uganda