GSA consultation meeting: Accelerating Progress for Schistosomiasis Control and Elimination Post-2020
The Global Schistosomiasis Alliance, hosted by the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health and working with the WHO NTD Department, held a consultation meeting with experts and stakeholders to provide feedback on the new proposed WHO goals for schistosomiasis and to discuss and agree on potential sub-targets and indicators for the new NTD Roadmap.
This important meeting was generously supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and was attended by 45 delegates representing the following organizations and Ministries of health: CIFF, CDC USA, ESPEN, SCI, Countdown, GSA, Merck, End Fund, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Hellen Keller International, NALA Foundation, Sightsavers, Swiss TPH, World Vision International, and country representatives from Brazil, Burundi, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda. WHO representatives at the meeting included the Geneva NTD department, WASH department, and WHO regional offices; WHO AFRO, WPRO-SEARO and EMRO.
The consolidated feedback on the new proposed WHO goals for schistosomiasis post 2020 were submitted to the WHO and presented to the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for NTDs (STAG-NTDs) on the 29th of April 2019
The meeting was closed by the Federal Ministry of Health with enthusiastic feedback from the meeting participants, endorsing the GSA meeting and highlighting that it brought together diverse representatives from the schistosomiasis community, consolidated expertise and provided clear feedback as one community on the WHO goals.
A meeting report is being produced and will be available on the GSA website as soon as possible. Watch this space.
GSA statement presented to STAG by SCI
The Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, representing the Global Schistosomiasis Alliance is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the development of the next global NTD Roadmap.
The 2012-2020 NTD Roadmap mobilized political will and resources, and helped drive significant progress. The new Roadmap must place NTDs at the heart of the global development agenda. Such a Roadmap will mobilise cross-sector action, effectively link NTDs directly with the Sustainable Development Goals, and will support the strengthening of health systems and the delivery of universal health coverage.
For schistosomiasis, there has been dramatic progress towards the goal of 75% coverage of school-aged children through Mass Drug Administration programmes. The critical support of donors, Governments and Health Ministries in making this possible is well recognised. Experience shows that further operational research on key factors influencing the decision-making of programme managers is needed. More effective sharing of ‘preferred practices’, learning from success in all regions affected by schistosomiasis is needed urgently.
Following a consultation with its members and the WHO, the GSA strongly supports the proposal of the ambitious goal of interruption of transmission in selected countries and an interim and complementary goal of reducing the global burden of schistosomiasis disease. GSA has proposed a set of supporting sub-targets and indicators to drive further action. These cover a comprehensive set of interventions implemented in a context-tailored manner, including treatment of all at-risk populations, improving diagnosis and the treatment of morbidities including female genital schistosomiasis, snail control measures and improvements to water supply, sanitation services and improved behaviours for infection prevention. With these interventions, together with continuing availability and better use of praziquantel and the accountability framework to secure action, we believe we can successfully move forward to control and eliminate schistosomiasis.”