COR-NTD meeting: Developing a M&E framework for schistosomiasis and prioritizing operational research to achieve schistosomiasis elimination

03 Feb 2021

The COR-NTD 2020 Virtual Meeting was held November 12-14, 2020.

The session 'Developing a M&E framework for schistosomiasis and prioritizing operational research to achieve schistosomiasis elimination' was held on 13 November 2020 from 9am-12pm EST.

Schistosomiasis has been targeted for elimination as a public health problem (EPHP) by 2030 in the World Health Organization (WHO) Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Roadmap 2021 – 2030. A meeting of the Global Schistosomiasis Alliance suggested “Interruption of transmission should be the overarching goal, with “elimination as a public health problem” or equivalent terms as the intermediate goal” (Addis meeting, 2019).

To date, many countries have successfully controlled morbidity, some have managed to achieve elimination as a public health problem (country wide or in districts), and few have likely interrupted transmission. On the pathway to elimination of transmission, programmatic challenges occur that are subject to critical action in order to ensure effective, appropriate, and equitable use of resources. These include defining the optimal indicators for measuring morbidity and transmission and the optimal programmatic actions to respond to them, the implementation of effective treatment strategies and micromapping, the development of new rapid diagnostic tests and non-mass drug administration (MDA) interventions, including behaviour change communication (BCC), water, sanitation & hygiene (WASH), and environmental management & snail control.

Ultimately, to address the focality of schistosomiasis transmission, national programmes will need to adopt increasingly targeted, multi-sector interventions, and develop a framework that monitors and evaluates progress at a finer scale to strengthen evidence-based decision-making.

This session will synthesize presented findings and experiences and identify key operational research questions for the programmatic continuum towards elimination of schistosomiasis. Speakers from national programmes, supporting organizations and the WHO will develop OR priorities around the following questions:

  1. When NTD programmes reach EPHP, what has been achieved and what measures are needed for sustaining the gains?
  2. Which tools and intervention strategies do we need when moving beyond EPHP, towards interruption of transmission for schistosomiasis?
  3. How can we establish an evidence-based framework for monitoring and evaluation of schistosomiasis programs, considering biological thresholds for measuring morbidity and transmission?

The output of this session will be an operational research pathway to support the development of a programmatic framework that leverages improved diagnostic tests, data analysis and modelling tools, appropriate indicators, and targeted interventions for the elimination of schistosomiasis.

Session Chairs: Fiona Fleming, Stefanie Knopp and Upendo Mwingira

Session Rapporteur: Anouk Gouvras

Session Co-chairs: Darin Evans, David Rollinson

COR NTD GSA Monitoring and Evaluation