COUNTDOWN Liverpool was honoured to receive Dr Patrick Lammie, a Principal Investigator with the Task Force for Global Health on Tuesday, 14th February 2017.
This meeting acquainted Dr Lammie fully on the research work being undertaken by COUNTDOWN in its partner countries - Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria.
Presentations by the various themes - Social Science, Health Economics, Macro & Vector control, Diagnostics & Schistosomiasis, led to discussions on possible areas that are of interest and need a broader conversation at the international level.
In the exchange, the need for broader diversity of diagnostics, Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) elimination as a public health problem were raised. In terms of diagnostics for LF, there were talks on task replication using xeno-monitoring but this fails to have any kind of survey methodology. It was agreed multi-parallel pCR was good to use for Soil Transmitted-Helminthiasis.
It was recognised that settings in the world where Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) remain a huge problem, currently have no guidance on how to approach them. Discussions on serology highlighted the alternative strategies especially given the time and the drugs used, which raises a need to re-think the Monitoring & Evaluation strategy.
Following the health economics presentation, discussions veered towards equity indicators. It was highlighted this remained an urban myth especially when looked at on the global scale.The wealth of a country does not necessarily reflect on results of programmes and urban slums are oftentimes overlooked. Nigeria was presented as a good example to get an understanding of the effect of catastrophic costs.
Funders/donors it was recognised, wanted value for money from research programmes.
In conclusion, this visit allowed exchange of ideas and provided a forum for discussions on issues arising around research diagnosis, dealing with complications that have no guidance yet and looking ahead at the changing agenda on the world health stage.