New strategies and novel tools for lymphatic filariasis clinical lymphoedema

The Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis advocates for endemic countries to implement a minimum package of care for morbidity management and disability prevention, however many countries have not started or scaled up these activities. Further, there is little data on the impact of interventions on patient’s and their caregiver’s health, socio-economic status, and how community health workers can readily monitor changes in patient’s chronic conditions overtime. This is important for lymphoedema patients who will need to conduct home-based self-care interventions for the rest of their lives, with long-term monitoring and support from local health staff.

This PhD research project will be conducted in conjunction with an operational research collaboration between GSK and the Centre for Neglected Tropical Diseases (CNTD), LSTM. The main aims of the project will be to i) measure the impact of an enhanced home-based care protocol for lymphoedema on patient’s and their caregivers’ health, quality of life and economic outcomes across multiple endemic settings to better understand, map and model the wider physical and socio-economic impact of interventions on individuals, families and communities and ii) assess the practicality and effectiveness of novel non-invasive handheld devices for monitoring the impact of interventions for lymphoedema

Where does the project lie on the Translational Pathway?

T2 – Human/Clinical Research, T3 – Evidence into Practice, T4 – Practice to Policy/Population

Expected Outputs

Authorship on major articles detailing impact


Training Opportunities

Epidemiology, field work experience, clinical case management of lymphatic filariasis


Skills Required

Some prior training in medical statistics, patient care and/or filariasis would be beneficial but not essential


Key Publications associated with this project

An Enhanced Self-Care Protocol for People Affected by Moderate to Severe Lymphedema. Douglass J, Mableson HE, Martindale S, Kelly-Hope LA. Methods Protoc. 2019 Sep 4;2(3). pii: E77. doi: 10.3390/mps2030077.

Measuring the physical and economic impact of filarial lymphoedema in Chikwawa district, Malawi: a case-control study. Stanton MC, Yamauchi M, Mkwanda SZ, Ndhlovu P, Matipula DE, Mackenzie C, Kelly-Hope LA. Infect Dis Poverty. 2017 Apr 3;6(1):28.

Martindale S, Mkwanda SZ, Smith E, Molyneux D, Stanton MC, Kelly-Hope LA. Quantifying the physical and socio-economic burden of filarial lymphoedema in Chikwawa District, Malawi. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2014.108:759-67.

Situational analysis of lymphatic filariasis morbidity in Ahanta West District of Ghana. Stanton MC, Best A, Cliffe M, Kelly-Hope L, Biritwum NK, Batsa L, Debrah A. Trop Med Int Health. 2016 Feb;21:236-44. 

Integrated morbidity mapping of lymphatic filariasis and podoconiosis cases in 20 co-endemic districts of Ethiopia. Kebede B, Martindale S, Mengistu B, Kebede B, Mengiste A, H/Kiros F, Tamiru A, Davey G, Kelly-Hope LA, Mackenzie CD. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2018 Jul 2;12:e0006491.

LSTM Themes and Topics – Key Words

Neglected tropical diseases