This daily programme is updated very frequently - please keep checking back for new session details!

10:30 (90 mins)

Track 2

Prevention and morbidity management of Female Genital Schistosomiasis: how to optimise strategies to meet the NTD roadmap goals for schistosomiasis

Chair: Daniela Fusco, Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Germany

Speakers: Sabine Specht , DNDi; Amaya Bustinduy, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; Louis-Albert Tchuem Tchuenté, University of Yaoundé, Cameroon;; Amadou Garba, WHO; Sarah Nogaro, FIND; Penelope Vounatsou, Swiss TPH

Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease of poverty with highest burden associated to chronic manifestations of the infection. S. mansoni and S. hematobium are the two most common species of the parasite leading to liver fibrosis and female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) respectively as chronic consequences of prolonged or repeated infections. 

FGS can occur when S. haematobium eggs recruit host immune cells to form granulomas which can become trapped in genital tissues and lead to fibrosis, presenting with characteristic lesions (sandy patches) on the cervix or vaginal wall. The disease is mostly diagnosed via visual investigation of the cervix through colposcopy, a clinical diagnostic process which requires dedicated equipment and trained personnel. Additionally, due to the natural history of FGS, with an extensive asymptomatic phase and the manifestation of general gynaecological symptoms associated to the diseases, awareness among both general population and health care workers is quite low. All this complicates the assessment of the burden of FGS which, worldwide, remains scarcely known. 

To date, praziquantel (PZQ), a repurposed drug with variable effectiveness, is the only drug available to treat schistosomiasis. PZQ is mostly used for mass drug administration campaigns promoted in endemic areas with the aim of eliminating the disease as a public health problem. Under the current treatment regimen, a single dose of PZQ is insufficient to resolve these lesions. Additionally, as the sole treatment available, the potential for Schistosoma to develop resistance towards PZQ is a concern. 

New treatments and strategies for morbidity management are urgently needed so as strategies to target the most burdened populations in order to meet the goals set by the NTDs 2030 roadmap.  

This debate has the scope of putting together the expert opinions of scientists, implementers and stakeholders in the field of FGS to identify ways forward to eliminate schistosomiasis as a public health problem.

13:30 (90 mins)

Track 5

How sexual and reproductive health and rights integration in medical curricula (should) support equitable and rights-based health around the globe

KIT Royal Tropical Institute, the Netherlands in collaboration with partners: the FIGO/WATOG/IFMSA network; Association of private health schools Mali; The Netherlands General Practitioner Advisory Group on Sexual Health (sexHAG)

Chair: Irene de Vries, MD, MA, KIT Royal Tropical Institute

Speakers: IFMSA/WATOG/FIGO representative tbc; Anke van der Kwaak, KIT Royal Tropical Institute; Dr Ba Sidi Yaya, president of the Association of private health schools of Mali; Prisca Zwanikken, KIT Royal Tropical Institute; Anne Vervoort, SexHAG;

Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are globally under threat. Even in settings where SRHR policy and regulations are liberalized, people face barriers to access quality, non-biased and rights-based care. Given concerns in many countries of declining numbers of health care professionals able and willing to provide SRHR care, including around sensitive issues such as abortion care, SRHR for young people and for LGBTQI+ amongst others, the need to ensure early-career training is urgent and essential. Also in less sensitive reproductive health issues the voice and rights of individuals are often challenged by cultural or political arguments of others. 

Failure to ensure that the next generation of professionals have appropriate levels of SRHR skills and knowledge of the SRHR discourse, will be a failure to commit to meeting the basic health care needs and rights of people.

15:30 (90 mins)

Track 1

Climate change and health outcomes: extreme temperatures, air pollution, and policy instruments

Erasmus School of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Chair: Tom Van Ourti, Erasmus School of Health Policy and Management and Erasmus School of Economics, the Netherlands

Speakers: Lizbeth Burgos Ochoa, MSc, Tilburg University, the Netherlands; Maartje van Wijhe, MSc, Eramus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Pilar García Gómez, PhD, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Fiorella Parra Mujica, MSc, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Florian Bottner, MSc, University of Innsbruck, Austria

Climate projections indicate that extreme weather events, such as extreme temperatures, will become more frequent and intense in the coming years. This has raised concerns about the possible impact of these events on early-life health and their potential to exacerbate socioeconomic health inequalities. Nevertheless, our knowledge on the causal impact of such events on birth outcomes remains limited.

15:30 (90 mins)

Track 1

Contribution of multidisciplinary research to the equity and sustainability of social health insurance in Benin

Chair: Marc Bourgeois, Professor of Law, Université de Liège, Belgium

Speakers: Prof N’koué Emmanuel Sambiéni, Université de Parakou, Benin; Dr Aminatou Soulemana, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium; Mr Cossi X. Agbeto,  UCLouvain, Belgium; Prof Gilles-Armand Sossou, Université d'Abomey-Calavi, Benin; Mr Jacob Gnammou, University of Liège, Belgium; Prof Elisabeth Paul, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

Like many other Sub-Saharan African countries, Benin has embraced the objective of Universal Health Coverage. To progress towards that objective, the government launched in 2017 a pilot social health insurance scheme, called ARCH. However, its scaling up is lagging, and some design issues – notably regarding its implementing agency and funding mechanism – are still not decided upon. 

This organised session will bring together researchers from various disciplines enabling to approach the challenges of the development of such an ambitious public health programme under different lenses: socio-anthropology, economics, law, public finance, health systems and policies.

15:30 (90 mins)

Track 2

A focus on Malawi: schistosomiasis and its new One Health dimensions

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Co-chairs: Prof Russell Stothard, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK; Govert van Dam, Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands

Speakers: Dr Tine Huyse, Royal Museum for Central Africa, Belgium; Dr Janelisa Musaya, MLW-Clinical Research Programme, Blantyre, Malawi; Mr Peter Makaula, MLW-Clinical Research Programme, Blantyre, Malawi; Dr Alexandra Juhasz, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK; Dr Julianne Meisner, University of Washington, USA

Our aim is to highlight recent work on hybrid schistosomes in Malawi and nearby, documenting new dimension in One Health to control this neglected tropical disease.

This session and speakers draw together exciting new information on the realities of hybrid schistosomes in Malawi and in nearby countries, exploring new One Health Dimensions. Our specific focus is placed on the S. haematobium-mattheei combination which is now firmly incriminated in urogenital schistosomiasis in people. Recent surveillance by the multidisciplinary project entitled HUGS (Hybridisation in UroGenital Schistosomiasis) across two communities in Mangochi and Nsanje Districts has brought to light the complex epidemiology of this parasite as well as its zoonotic cycling in local livestock. Addressing One Health dimensions, schistosomiasis in Malawian livestock is neglected and we present our latest findings on GPS tracking and response(s) to praziquantel treatment over a calendar year.

ECTMIH2023 is co-organised by University Medical Center Utrecht, Universiteitsweg 100, 3584 CG Utrecht, Netherlands
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