|DOLF Champions||WHO Onchocerciasis Statue||Dolf Champions|
Left Photo: Lead DOLF Members: Gary Weil, Juerg Utzinger, Michel Boussinesq, Peter Fischer, Chris King, Sebastien Pion, Charles Mackenzie
Middle Photo: WHO Onchocerciasis Statue
Right Photo: Lead DOLF Members: Charles Mackenzie, Gary Weil, Juerg Utzinger, Chris King, Sebastien Pion
The DOLF Champions met with Technical Advisory Team members at WHO/Geneva on September 19, 2011. Meetings with technical advisors and key stakeholders are extremely important for projects like DOLF that aim to inform policy decisions and improve global health programs. Special thanks to Drs. Ichimori and Engels for helping us to hold the meeting at WHO and to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for funding and for their continued interest in this exciting and ambitious project.
Meeting highlights: the DOLF project has made significant progress since the last meeting (October 2010).
- More than 20,000 individuals were tested in pilot surveys in 8 countries in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.
- Pilot surveys failed to confirm filariasis endemicity in many sites that were believed to have been endemic. Additional pilot studies are in progress or planned to identify more DOLF study sites in Africa.
- A new smartphone data collection system (ODK) has been developed and deployed for Objective 1.
- Objective 1 (MDA) studies were initiated in two sites in Indonesia in 2011 (Pekalongan/Java and Sikka/Flores). Obj 1 studies in Liberia, PNG, and Republic of Congo are expected to start in the first half of 2012.
- SOPs have been developed for laboratory and field surveys to standardize methods used across different study sites. These are posted on the internal DOLF website, which is accessible to project participants.
- A technical training meeting was held in early 2011 with CWRU, MSU, CDC and TaskForce participation to go over methods for data entry/specimen management and for testing of blood and stool samples.
- Additional collaborators from the IBB, STI and east DRC have been recruited to participate in DOLF.
- The computer simulation and cost projection study has been completed. This suggests that semiannual MDA should eliminate LF in half the time required with annual MDA with significant cost savings.
- DOLF scientists made presentations at many meetings sponsored by BMGF, NIH, MDP, and also at the AFRO and SEARO LF RPRG meetings in Lusaka and Colombo.