Schistosomiasis & STH Research and Control in Cameroon

All information pertaining to research around the epidemiology and control of both schistosomiasis and geohelminthiasis in Cameroon is collated via work being carried out by: the National Programme for the Control of Schistosomiasis and STH, the Centre for Schistosomiasis and Parasitology and the COUNTDOWN Project. 

National Programme for the Control of Schistosomiasis and Soil transmitted Helminthiasis

Operated by the Ministry of Public Health in Cameroon, the programme defines and implements the national policy for the control and elimination of schistosomiasis and STH in Cameroon.

Centre for Schistosomiasis and Parasitology

The centre serves as the focus research centre for the epidemiology of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis in Cameroon. Both governmental and scientific organisations rely on its research and diagnostic capacity. 

COUNTDOWN Project

COUNTDOWN is an implementation research project that brings together multidisciplinary specialists from the UK, USA and Africa to generate knowledge necessary for the control and elimination of the seven most common neglected tropical diseases by 2020.

 

News

Training of COUNTDOWN Social Science Field Surveyors

04 - 06 May 2017, Buea - In line with planned COUNTDOWN activities, colleagues in Buea organised a training session for field surveyors ahead of data collection. This training session, facilitated by Laura Dean, LSTM and Dr Theobald Nji,Social Science lead,Buea entailed capacity building on qualitative research methods, introduction to the data collection tools and pretesting of these tools, by the field workers. The tools will serve to capture the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions around control interventions, by the community. 

COUNTDOWN District Advocacy and Stakeholders Meetings

02 May 2017, Kumba - Following the successful COUNTDOWN Regional Advocacy and Stakeholders Meeting in Buea, the team organised another advocacy and stakeholders meeting, this time at district level. The meeting which was held in Kumba, brought together mayors of municipal councils, community leaders, chairpersons of health dialogue structures, directors of health district services, nurses and head of health areas. Participants where informed on the work COUNTDOWN envisions carrying out around the control of onchocerciasis in Cameroon. The rationale for the research focus areas of the multidisciplinary themes - parasitology, epidemiology, social sciences and health economics - were further elaborated. Community engagement is key to community ownership of control interventions as it ensures the sustainability of the intervention. 

COUNTDOWN ICST2 Baseline Studies

27 March - 14 May 2017, Centre Region - It has been a very busy period for the team at CSP, which are progressively finishing off the COUNTDOWN schistosomiasis baseline studies in school-aged children and in communities. These studies will offer information on the prevalence of schistosomiasis in the selected COUNTDOWN study sites and will guide work around the alternative interventions to be carried out. Study Sites are located in Four Regions - Centre, Littoral, West and South West. The collection of urine and stool samples from school-aged children is highly facilitated by school Directors and teachers, who are key players in the control of schistosomiasis. These efforts further highlight the commitment of partners - the Ministry of Basic Education and Ministry of Secondary Education - to the tripartite partnership signed with the Ministry of Public Health, and the Union of United Cities and Councils of Cameroon, for the control of schistosomiasis and STH. For more information about this COUNTDOWN research, visit the COUNTDOWN Cameroon website.


COUNTDOWN Advocacy and Stakeholders Meeting

20 April 2017, BueaThe COUNTDOWN team in Buea alongside our partners -the University of Buea, hosted a Regional Advocacy and Stakeholders meeting which brought together government officials and officials from civil society organisations - Helen Keller International and Sightsavers. In addition were Deans from the University of Buea, teachers and students all interested in combatting NTDs in the South West Region. In her welcome word, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Buea who presided the meeting, stressed and encouraged researchers to ensure that research information is always relayed back to the communities concerned. The Director of Disease Control, Ministry of Health reiterated the government's commitment on NTDs control and fortified youths to be proactive in this fight. The COUNTDOWN team in Buea led by Prof Samuel Wanji, offered elaborate narratives of the overall COUNTDOWN project with emphasis placed on the alternative strategies for the acceleration of Onchocerciasis in Cameroon. Before officially launching the COUNTDOWN activities in the South West Region, the Governor informed on his "unconditional support" to all COUNTDOWN activities. A highlight of the meeting was the onchocerciasis exhibition where participants where enlightened around onchocerciasis.

COUNTDOWN Annual Partners' Meeting

28-30 March 2017, Yaoundé - The 3rd COUNTDOWN Annual Partners' Meeting was hosted in Yaoundé, Cameroon at Mont Fébé Hotel. The team in Cameroon welcomed partners from Liberia, Nigeria and the United Kingdom, while partners from Ghana were unfortunately unable to attend the meeting due to unforeseen circumstances. The 3-day intensive and interactive meeting allowed COUNTDOWN colleagues to review progress on work carried out thus far, all the while planning actions for research activities  moving forward. 


TES Conference 2017 - Paper Writing and Training Workshop

24 March 2017, Yaoundé - Following the unprecedented Towards Elimination of Schistosomiasis (TES) Conference, the organising committee convened an open Paper Writing and Training workshop, which brought together junior researches and students from international and national levels for capacity strengthening. This workshop offered participants a platform to expand knowledge on scientific writing and peer-review publication, as well as Molecular Epidemiology, Diagnostics and Bioinformatics which serves for more effective disease surveillance. It was facilitated by Conference Chair, Prof Louis-Albert Tchuem Tchuenté, alongside Prof Russell Stothard, Dr Suzy Campbell, Dr Niel Young and Dr Bonnie Webster 

Towards Elimination of Schistosomiasis (TES) Conference 2017

22-23 March 2017, Yaoundé - The 1st International conference organised on Schistosomiasis in Cameroon was held from Wednesday, 22nd March 2017 to Thursday, 23 March 2017 at Mont Fébé Hotel, Yaoundé. This conference titled Toward Elimination of Schistosomiasis (TES) brought together over 80 experts, scientists, donors, policy makers, non-governmental development organisations and students from all over the world to share and learn from each other's experiences and perspectives.

COUNTDOWN Evidence Synthesis Workshop

07-10 February 2017, Yaoundé - The COUNTDOWN team in Yaounde have welcomed colleagues from Buea and Nigeria for a 4-Day Evidence Synthesis Workshop which aims to enable participants to understand, appraise and use systematic reviews in neglected tropical diseases .This workshop is facilitated by Prof Pierre Ongolo-Zogo, Dr Villyen Nkengafac and Patrick Owen from the Centre for the Development of Best Practices in Health.

Prof. Louis-Albert Tchuem Tchuenté was raised to the dignity of Commander of the National Order of Valour by the President of Cameroon

27 January 2017, Yaoundé - The Head of State, Grand Master of National Orders, raised Professor Louis-Albert TCHUEM TCHUENTÉ to the dignity of Commander of the National Order of Valour, on the occasion of the National Day of 20 May 2016. The Minister of Higher Education officially awarded the decoration during the presentation ceremony of New Year 2017 wishes held on 27 January 2017 at the Amphitheater 700 of the University of Yaoundé I.

Medal of Commander of the National Order of Valour

COUNTDOWN Social Sciences in-country team meeting

24-25 January 2017, Yaounde- The COUNTDOWN team in Yaounde hosted colleagues from Buea, for a 2-day Social Science meeting. The purpose of this meeting was to review research activities against the timelines, review data collection tools and ensure reflection and co-ordination with both the Yaoundé and Buea research teams. 

Field studies in Edea and Eseka

06-30 November 2016, Edea and Eseka - Staff members alongside PhD and MSC students from the Centre for Schistosomiasis and Parasitology (CSP) have been very busy with field visits to Edea and Eseka in the Littoral Region. These visits were for the purpose of schistosomiasis sample collection for parasitological studies ongoing at CSP. Samples were collected from school-aged children in schools as well as members in the community. 

Training Course in Malacology for MSc Students from the University of Yaounde I

29 October 2016, Yaounde - Every year, Prof L.A Tchuem Tchuente, Director of CSP, organises practical training for his Masters students from the University of Yaounde I. This allow students to put theoretical knowledge into practice. This year, the practical training course consisted of a field visit to a schistosomiasis transmission site where MSc students experienced first hand the realities of schistosomiasis transmission, and challenges for disease control and elimination. In addition, through the assistance from members of CSP, students carried out malacological surveys and snail identification followed by capacity building on schistosomiasis diagnostic techniques - Kato-Katz, CCA, Hemastix, and urine filtration.

China-Africa Cooperation: Training Course on Malacology

26 -27 October 2016, Yaounde - A 2-days training course in malacology and use of molluscicides for snail control was carried out as part of the China-Africa meeting. The Director of CSP, and Coordinator of the National SCH Control Programme, Prof Louis-Albert Tchuem Tchuente led Chinese and African partners to a schistosomiasis transmission site in the city of Yaounde, where partners carried out malacological surveys with help from experts Dr Henri Madsen, University of Copenhagen, Prof David Rollinson, Natural History Museum of London, and Dr Rabiou Labbo, RISEAL Niger. Following this training course, Chinese and African partners were able to strengthen their capacity on schistosomiasis diagnostic techniques at the CSP with help from the team at CSP. 

2nd China-Africa Meeting on Schistosomiasis Elimination

24 -28 October 2016, Yaounde - The second meeting of the China-Africa Cooperation on Schistosomiasis Elimination took place this week at Hilton Hotel in the capital city, Yaounde. This cooperation aims to strengthen collaboartion between African and Chinese research institutions, in order to scale up schistosomiasis control and elimination through the agreement between the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China and the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases in the World Health Organisation. The meeting included a 2-days training course in malacology and use of molluscicides for snail control, with activities being carried out at the Centre for Schistosomiasis and Parasitology (CSP). 

COUNTDOWN Strategic Work Planning Meeting

03 - 07 October 2016, Limbe - COUNTDOWN Cameroon team in Buea, South West Region was pleased to welcome and host colleagues from  Yaounde, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK and FHI360, USA for a 5-days working session aimed at finalising strategic research work plans for the COUNTDOWN project multiple disciplines - parasitology, vector biology, entomology, health economics, applied social science and anthropology. Based at Seme Beach Hotel in Limbe with its magnificent views and spectacular back drops, the interactive working sessions led to great progress around the development of strategic working plans. Read More

Raising awareness about Schistosomiasis on National Radio Station-CRTV

02 August 2016, Yaounde - Communication is an invaluable tool which serves to raise awareness and sensitise the population, around the control and elimination of NTDs in the country. Prof Tcuem Tchuente joined the team of 'CRTV m'accompagne' at the national radio station to  discuss the importance of building health reporting capacity within the media around NTDs. Schistosomiasis and other NTDs continue to pose problems for some populations around the country, but educating  the public helps them to be aware of transmission and how to prevent it. For more information about schistosomiasis, please click here

NTDs Training for Journalists

23 - 28 July 2016The National Programme for the Control of Schistosomiasis and STH organised a 6 days NTDs training session for journalists from national and regional levels. Prof Tchuem Tchuente, permanent secretary of the programme believes that "communication plays a very big role in raising awareness, controlling and eliminating NTDs". The training session consisted field visits to various schistosomiasis endemic sites as well as areas which have managed to eliminate the disease, hence becoming success stories. Journalists were able to experience the challenges and realities faced in order to reach populations most affected. All the communities and traditional leaders visited, warmly received the team and expressed gratitude for the government's effort in hearing their voice and improving they health status. 

Working Session with Directors of Health Areas in Edea Health District, Littoral Region

19 July 2016, Edea - Prof Louis-Albert Tchuem Tchuente attended a working session with the directors of the various health areas in the Edea Health District, in the Littoral Region ahead of a planned mass drug distribution. This working session organised by the National Programme for the Control of Schistosomiasis and STH demonstrates the government's incessant commitment in improving the health status of the population. Prof Tchuem Tchunete commended the directors for their relentless hard work and reiterated that 'in order to interrupt transmission of schistosomiasis we have to deworm the whole community, not just school-aged children'.

Prof L.A Tchuem Tchuente appointed NTD Ambassador,LSTM

09 June 2016, Yaounde - We are pleased to announce that Professor Louis-Albert Tchuem Tchuente, Permanent Secretary for Cameroon's National Programme for the Control of Schistosomiasis and STH and COUNTDOWN project country director has been appointed NTD Ambassador, for the renowned Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom. Through this role, Prof Tchuem Tchuente will contribute in raising the profile of NTDs among policymakers, media and general public; and to advocate for NTD donors, governments and organisation to maintain and increase their commitments to achieve the World Health Organisation's Roadmap goals. Click below to read more about Prof Tchuem Tchuente

Launch of Annual Stakeholder NTD work plan meeting for Cameeroon

07 June 2016, Yaounde - The annual stakeholders NTD work plan meeting brought together both international and national stakeholders involved in the fight against neglected tropical diseases. These stakeholders comprising the National Programme for the Control of Schistosomiasis and STH, National Programme for the Control of Onchocerciasis, Helen Keller International, RTI International, Perspective, Sightsavers, and International Eye Foundation discussed the implementation the Envision project for 2017. This 8-year USAID funded project  aims at providing assistance to the NTD control programs for the control and elimination of NTDs so that they are no longer a public health problem.

Field Visit to Barombi, SW Cameroon

01-08 June 2016, Barombi- A team from the Centre for Schistosomiasis and Parasitology led by Prof Tchueme Tchuente went on a week's study field visit to Barombi, south west Cameroon accompanied by Prof Russ and the team from LSTM. The comparative study aims at evaluating the level of schistosomiasis transmission in two sites: Barombi Mbo and Braombi Kotto. The team received warm welcomes from the chiefs and community of each village and were able to raise awareness and inform them of ways to interrupt transmission. All samples collected from the community were prepared and analysed by using various diagnostic techniques.

Bearmann Diagnostic Technique performed first time at CSP

31st May 2016, Yaounde- Growing collaboration between the Centre for Schistosomiasis and Parasitology (CSP) and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) offers the platform for training and knowledge sharing as has been the case today. Prof Russ from LSTM performed the Baermann diagnostic technique for the first time at the CSP where students from both CSP and LSTM were able to learn and develop their capacity. The technique makes use of stool samples to test to test for the presence of schistosomes.

Visit from the team from LSTM

30 May 2016, Yaounde- A team of MSc students from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) led by Professor Russell Stothard and Dr James LaCourse are currently visiting Cameroon where they shall be collaborating with Prof Louis-Albert Tchuem Tchente and his team at the Centre for Schistosomiasis and Parasitology. Close ties forged between both institutions allows for knowledge transfer and capacity building around schistosomiasis research. The team is currently preparing for a study field visit to Barombi, in the South west region of Cameroon.

Study Field Trip to Edea

24 - 27 May 2016, Edea - A 10-person team from the Centre for Schistosomiasis and Parasitology and University of Yaoundé I, travelled to the city of Edea, in the Littoral region to conduct an evaluation study. This study is aimed at evaluating the level of transmission of schistosomiasis and the efficacy of praziquantel treatment provided during the annual national deworming campaigns. Over a four-day period, the team collected a total of about 1600 stool samples from about 75 schools within the various divisions in the Edea health district. All samples were prepared for analysis using the kato-katz technique.

COUNTDOWN 1st Annual Meeting

20-22 April 2016, Accra, Ghana - COUNTDOWN country partners gathered in Accra, Ghana for the consortium's first annual partners meeting. During this 3-day meeting, partners were able to look back at the progress made thus far, review work plans and develop outputs which aid in attaining end goals for respective countries.

National Deworming Campaign in Cameroon

09 March 2016, Yaounde - The 2016 National Deworming campaign was launched today, by his Excellency, the Minister of Public Health, Mama Andre Fouda alongside her Excellency, the Minister of Basic Education,Youssouf Hadjidja Alim. This free deworming of school-aged children in all ten regions of the country is in line with the activities implemented by the National Programme for the Control of Schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) and serves to rid the Cameroonian people of the burdens incurred from schistosomiasis and STH.

Grand Challenges Africa Convening

23 - 26 February 2016, Nairobi, Kenya - The Grand Challenges Africa (GCA) meeting brought together grantees funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada and the USAID, to share ideas and experiences to help define the shape and focus of GCA and potential challenges, and how GCA can drive the innovation necessary to achieve the continent’s long-term Sustainable Development Goals.

Prince Mahidol Award Conference (PMAC) 2016

26 - 31 January 2016, Bangkok, Thailand - CSP Director,Prof Tchuem Tchuente attended the PMAC 2016 on "Priority Settings for Universal Health". This conference gathered a total of 847 participants from 63 countries where there were interesting debates, including cost-effectiveness vs human rights considerations for setting priorities in health.

Prince Mahidol Award Conference (PMAC) 2016 Field Trip

28 January 2016, Suan Luang Municipality, Kratumban District, Samut Sakhon Province, Thailand - A one-day field trip was organized to different sites, offering participants the opportunity to directly interact with persons in charge of policy decisions and implementation in real life, and to get an insight into Thailand’s health systems including care delivery, financing and management.

Health Economics Workshop

01 December 2015, Yaounde - Professor Louis Neissen, Chair of Health Economics at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, facilitated a discussion with the COUNTDOWN Cameroon team around the equity impact of the scale up of Mass Drug Administration and sustainable complementary strategies for this scale up. 

Visit to the Ministry of Public Health, Cameroon

01 December 2015, Yaounde-  Prof Louis Neissen and Prof Tchuem Tchuente visited the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Public Health, at the Ministry of Public Health. This encounter enabled discussion around better understanding the NTD programmes in Cameroon, surveillance system, availability of data, applicability of economic impact measurements and ways to implement health economic research in Cameroon at household level.

Visit to the Faculty of Sciences, University of Yaounde I

01 December 2015, Yaounde - The COUNTDOWN team along with Prof. Louis Neissen paid a visit to the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Yaoundé I, where they were able to learn more about the research being conducted at the faculty, around parasitology research in Cameroon.

Field Visit to Kinding Ndjabi, Centre Region

 13 October 2016,Yaounde- COUNTDOWN Cameroon and Liverpool team members visited the village of Kinding Ndjabi, 3 hours West of Yaounde. This is an example of a success story  of interruption of schistosomiasis through the installation of a water pump and other interventions. Discussion with the village chief clearly indicated that the pump had brought many health benefits to the local community with those affected now largely free of the signs and symptoms of disease.

Research Uptake Workshop

12 October 2015, Yaounde - As part of the COUNTDOWN project activities in Cameroon, a workshop on research uptake was held in Yaoundé. The workshop gathered COUNTDOWN team members from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) and Cameroon (Yaoundé and Buea teams) to discuss and share research uptake strategies, tools and perspectives.

Launch of the COUNTDOWN Project in Cameroon

09 October 2015, Yaounde - The COUNTDOWN project was launched today in Cameroon at the Ministry of Public Health. This launch was presided by the Minister of Public Health, his Excellency, Andre Mama Fouda. COUNTDOWN is a programme of implementation research to inform the effective and sustainable scaling-up of integrated neglected tropical disease control initiatives. The implementing partners in Cameroon are, the Ministry of Public Health, Centre for Schistosomiasis and Parasitology, University of Buea and University of Yaounde I. 

Signing of the China-Africa Institution-based Cooperation for the Elimination of Schistosomiasis

05 October 2015, Cape Town, South Africa - A memorandum of understanding on co-operation in establishment of institution-based network on China-Africa Cooperation for Schistosomiasis elimination, was signed between China and African institutions.

Social Sciences Workshop

25 - 27 August 2015, YaoundéAs part of the COUNTDOWN project activities in Cameroon, a social sciences workshop was held in Yaoundé, to develop protocols and a work plan for social sciences research, including defining the role and responsibilities of staff involved. Participants included COUNTDOWN staff from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), Buea and Yaoundé.

Management Meeting

08 - 12 June 2015, Yaounde - Working visit of Rachael Thomson and Julie Irving to Cameroon to discuss the inception work-plan, activities, budget allocation, COUNTDOWN operational manual, and reporting requirements.

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