TUMIKIA Baseline data presented at KASH 2017

Dr Stella Kepha presented research findings from TUMIKIA project to the KASH 2017
21 February 2017

The findings from 160,000 households surveyed for the TUMIKIA research were presented for the first time to the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Annual Scientific and Health (KASH) conference held in Nairobi, Kenya in February 2017.

Speaking at a special scientific session on NTD’s LASER’s Dr Stella Kepha presented the findings of a base-line survey conducted as part of the two-year TUMIKIA research project in Kwale, Kenya to build the evidence-base around effective targeting of deworming efforts.

Initial survey findings show that the men surveyed had a higher levels of hookworm infections that their female counterparts. The baseline survey data also identified a number of environmental patterns namely that areas which had relatively lower latrine coverage had low hookworm prevalence and areas nearer the Indian Ocean indicated higher levels of STH infection that those surveyed further inland.

Under the general theme of ‘Investing in health through strengthening county health system towards prevention and control of disease’ the KASH conference brought together around 400 researchers affiliated to KEMRI to share and discuss their research findings.

Other selected presentations on NTD research included:

  • Dr. Onyango of Drugs for neglected diseases (DNDi) presented on Mycetoma, a disease that has recently been classified as a NTD. DNDi are planning to start a clinical trial in Sudan that aims to develop a new treatment for fungal form of mycetoma.
  • Mr. Mwatela, a research officer at KEMRI-ESACIPAC provided an evaluation of the comparative performance of the Ifakara tent trap and the Centre for Disease Control light trap, as vector sampling tools to assess lymphatic filariasis (LF) indices. His finding show that the integration of both traps would be ideal for evaluation of the LF control programmes as the light trap captures the Anopheline mosquitoes while the tent trap captures Culicine mosquitoes.
  • Dr. Matoke, a research officer at KEMRI-CBRD gave a talk on the occurrence, distribution and diversity of the sandfly vector of Leishmania parasite. Outdoor trapping yielded more catches compared to indoors. Most endemic areas are hot therefore residents in such areas sleep outdoor. She suggested that control Leshmania should integrate both outdoor and indoor vector management.
  • Prof. Njenga, Director of ESACIPAC, gave insight into conducting sero-surveillance of multiple diseases within LF survey using multiplex bead assay. The results of this analysis show that this assay could be a cost-effective platform in integrated surveillance of public health programmes and provide vital information in planning disease control.

In addition to the baseline results Dr Kepha presented a poster on the Domains of hookworm transmission and the effect of sanitation among school children attending schools in Kwale, county. Overall the results from this analysis highlight the importance of inadequate household and school sanitation as means of hookworm prevention for school children in endemic communities.