Elimination of soil-transmitted helminth: CSRS receives a visit from the Deworm3 Project Delegation

From June 19 to 22, 2016, the Swiss Center for Scientific Research in Côte d'Ivoire (CSRS) received a delegation from the Deworm3 Project, comprising Dr. Judd Walson, Principal Investigator, Dr. Peter Jourdan, Director of Science, Ms. Anoushka Bassett, Coordinator, Mr. Alexander Gardiner, Chief Financial Officer, all from the Natural History Museum in London, UK. They were received by the main initiators of the project submitted for Côte d'Ivoire: Dr Giovanna Raso from the Swiss Tropical Institute of Public Health (Swiss TPH); Dr Abdoulaye Méité, Coordinator of the National Program for the Control of Schistosomiasis, Geo-Helminthiasis and Lymphatic Filariasis (PNL-SGF); Professor Eliezer N'Goran, Director of the Laboratory of Zoology and Animal Biology of the Training and Research Unit (UFR) in Biosciences at the Félix Houphouët Boigny University (UFHB); And Professor Bassirou Bonfoh, Director General of CSRS. On Monday 20th, the Delegation held a working session in the morning with the CSRS Managing Director, during which the CSRS and the project were presented. The exchanges which followed allowed to raise the concerns of the various parties. The visit of the different departments, units and laboratories of the CSRS which followed, enabled the Managing Director, Prof. Bassirou Bonfoh, to highlight the institutional capacities of the CSRS. In the afternoon, the Delegation visited the headquarters of the National Program for the Control of Schistosomiasis, Geo-Helminthiasis and Lymphatic Filariasis (PNL-SGF). A working session with the team of the Coordination of this Program led by Dr. Aboulaye Meïté allowed to exchange on the activities of this program and to give an update on the implementation of activities to fight against Tropical Neglected Diseases sensitive to preventive chemotherapy. This first day ended with an audience granted by Prof. Boa Yapo Félix, General Director of Health (DGS) to the delegation. The DGS took this occasion to translate to our hosts the commitment of the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene in the fight against NTD in general but in particular to support such research initiatives, which are essential for optimization of Control measures. The day of Tuesday 21st was devoted to a field visit to the Health Department of Alépé, located at 55 km north-east of Abidjan. The Delegation, which was joined by Dr. Mama of PNL-SGF, first went to the head office of the Department of Health of Alépé where she was received by Dr. Romuald Dizo Bredé, Doctor - Head of the Sanitary District and his team. After the briefing, the Alépé Departmental Director of Health initially led the Delegation to the Grand Alepé School, which brings together 3 schools for a working session with the management and the teaching staff as well as the pupils of the 3 classes of CM2 in order to exchange with the actors of the school which constitutes an essential link in the chain of Mass Drug Administration of medicines against worms. Then the whole Delegation visited the sub-prefecture of Alosso. She was first received by the Sub-prefect, Mrs. Bé Suzanne, for a briefing on the subject of the mission. After expressing her full approval of the project and thanking the Delegation for choosing the Sub-prefecture of Alosso, the Sub-Prefect then led the Delegation to the Health Center of its Sub-Prefecture. The visit allowed the Delegation of See the deleterious conditions in which the staff work. Finally, the Delegation composed of personalities from Great Britain, the United States, Switzerland and Abidjan led by the Deputy Prefect and the health authorities of the district received a thrilling reception of the enthusiastic populations gathered around Of his Majesty, the King of Alosso in the public square of the village. After the usual news and presentation of the Deworm3 Project, the community that came out massively expressed its total support for the project and hoped to see Côte d'Ivoire and the Sub-Préfecture of Alosso selected for this project. The day ended with a snack offered to the delegation at the residence of the Sub-prefect and the return trip to Abidjan in the late afternoon. The last day, Wednesday 22, facilitated by Professor Eliezer N'Goran, took place in the conference room of the Biosciences Faculty of the University Félix Houphouët Boigny, was reserved for the different presentations, and to the exchanges on the operational questions. It was opened by the word of welcome of Prof. Kouamelan Essetchi Paul, Dean of UFR Biosciences, who then succinctly presented the structure he directs before expressing the firm commitment of his structure to accompany this project. Presentations focused on: the Deworm3 project; HDSS; The state of play of the fight against the MTN and the Laboratory of zoology and animal biology of the UFR Biosciences. This day ended with a debriefing of the mission. The Deworm Project3 is an ambitious project that envisages going beyond the WHO-recommended goals of controlling soil-borne worm disease to explore strategies for the elimination of intestinal worms . Of the 26 countries that bid on the call for proposals, 6 of which Côte d'Ivoire were pre-selected for site visits by the project steering team. At the end of these visits, only 3 will be selected for the implementation of the project which should start in January 2017. Let us hope that Côte d'Ivoire is part of it.

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