Quantify the impact and future needs of neglected tropical disease (NTD) mass drug administration programmes

Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a neglected tropical disease targeted for global elimination. One of the main aims of the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) is to interrupt transmission through the distribution of mass drug administration (MDA) with antiparasitic such as albendazole, which is also distributed for the control of soil transmitted helminth (STH).  MDA drugs are donated by Pharma and the impact of the LF programmes in terms drug donations and future requirements over the next decade 2020-2030 needs to be better defined in LF-STH co-endemic areas. Currently, there is little information regarding the quantity and cost of drugs that will be required in LF-STH co-endemic areas and how the national programmes will integrate drug supply and logistics into their health systems to secure sustainable STH treatment as LF programmes scale down and reach elimination. Further, there is little data on what the impact will be on STH prevalence and intensity once LF MDA stops and what strategies for STH may be best continued.

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) develop a practical programmatic strategy for endemic countries to use to address the potential drug deficit and financially plan for continuing MDA in endemic areas in the long-term, and ii) assess the impact of standard LF MDA on STH, and alternative strategies on both LF and STH in co-endemic areas.

Where does the project lie on the Translational Pathway?

T3 – Evidence into Practice & T4 – Practice to Policy/Population

Expected Outputs

Authorship on major articles


Training Opportunities

Mapping, Epidemiology, Economic analysis, Health System Strengthening


Skills Required

Some prior training in economic analysis of health interventions or health system strengthening would be beneficial but not essential


Key Publications associated with this project

Mass Drug Administration and beyond: how can we strengthen health systems to deliver complex interventions to eliminate neglected tropical diseases? Macpherson EE, Adams ER, Bockarie MJ, Hollingsworth TD, Kelly-Hope LA, Lehane M, Kovacic V, Harrison RA, Paine MJ, Reimer LJ, Torr SJ. BMC Proc. 2015 Dec 18;9(Suppl 10):S7

Mapping and modelling the impact of mass drug administration on filariasis prevalence in Myanmar.

Aye NNLin ZLon KNLinn NYYNwe TWMon KMRamaiah KBetts HKelly-Hope LA.

Infect Dis Poverty. 2018 May 31;7(1):56. doi: 10.1186/s40249-018-0420-9.

The significant scale up and success of Transmission Assessment Surveys 'TAS' for endgame surveillance of lymphatic filariasis in Bangladesh: One step closer to the elimination goal of 2020.

Shamsuzzaman AK, Haq R, Karim MJ, Azad MB, Mahmood AS, Khair A, Rahman MM, Hafiz I, Ramaiah KD, Mackenzie CD, Mableson HE, Kelly-Hope LA. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Jan 31;11(1):e0005340

Modelling strategies to break transmission of lymphatic filariasis--aggregation, adherence and vector competence greatly alter elimination. Irvine MA, Reimer LJ, Njenga SM, Gunawardena S, Kelly-Hope L, Bockarie M, Hollingsworth TD.

Parasit Vectors. 2015 Oct 22;8:547

Soil-transmitted helminth infection in school age children in Sierra Leone after a decade of preventive chemotherapy interventions. Bah YM, Bah MS, Paye J, Conteh A, Saffa S, Tia A, Sonnie M, Veinoglou A, Amon JJ, Hodges MH, Zhang Y. Infect Dis Poverty. 2019 Jul 2;8(1):41.

LSTM Themes and Topics – Key Words

Neglected tropical diseases

The call for applications for the 2020-21 round of studentships is now OPEN. Deadline for receipt of complete application 23:59 13th February 2020

Further information on the programme and application process can be found here