Public Health Seminar - Cross-sector approaches in the control of Neglected Tropical Diseases

Professor Moses J. Bockarie  was the first to give the public health seminar at the school for this academic year. He graduated from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM ) in 1992 with a PhD in Medical Entomology. After graduating, he returned to Sierra Leone to continue his work as a research scientist before moving to the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, becoming Principal Research Fellow and Head of the Vector Borne Disease Unit in 1996. In 2005, he joined the Center for Global Health and Diseases, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Ohio, USA as Visiting Professor, where he continued his research on NTDs. Professor Bockarie was appointed as Director of the Centre for Neglected Tropical Diseases (CNTD), LSTM, in 2008. He directly oversees research and implementation activities in 12 project countries working closely with national ministries of health, academic institutions and several implementation partners. He brings has a vast experience on a wide range of diseases including malaria, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis and other NTDs. He has worked in many countries in Africa, Europe, United States and the Pacific region and is a member of the Executive Group of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis and WHO panel of Experts on parasitic infections. He has over 116 publications in peer-reviewed journals including first authored papers in the Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine.

In his seminar listed the following as the Neglected Tropical Diseases
1. Dracunculiasis
2. Lymphatic filariasis
3. Onchocerciasis
4. Schistosomiasis
5. Visceral Leishmaniasis
6. Human African trypanosomiasis
7. Chagas diseases
8. Blinding trachoma
9. Leprosy
10. Rabies
11. Yaws
12. Buruli ulcer
13. Soil transmitted helminths
14. Taeniasis/ Cysticercosis/ Human echinococcosis
15. Food-borne trematode infections
16. Dengue
17. Cutaneous leishmaniasis

He spoke about the Community directed intervention strategy carried out by community health volunteers against the fight of NTDs in some countries and emphasised the need to scale up interventions against NTDs through cross-sector approaches such as linking NTD control with other public health interventions.
He said integrated control and cross-sector approaches lead to a strengthening of the public health system. He also said that Ebola in NTD endemic countries (Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea) was worse because these countries had poor and ineffective health systems-low laboratory capacity and poor logistics. In these countries the health systems were fragile. In Liberia for example all routine medical activities throughout the country were suspended indefinitely including Mass Drug Administration (MDA) and Monitoring and Evaluation Activities planned for the Neglected Tropical Disease program for 2014.

An example of Poor Logistics