Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are at a crucial point in global policy decision making. Huge investments and global efforts have reduced the burden of these diseases in many of the poorest populations of the world. There are still significant investments required to meet the 2020 goals, laid out in the London Declaration on NTDs (2012). However, there is also an urgent need to plan for the steps beyond 2020. Will the NTDs go the route of Guinea worm and go for local elimination, potentially leading to eradication, or will they look at strategies which allow them to maintain the goals they have achieved in recent years.
There is currently no quantitative framework available to the NTD community to inform this policy decision. Expert opinion is an important tool in these discussions, but quantitative modelling and calculation are an essential part of such important policy decisions. We propose to gather an international team of NTD modellers to provide analyses to support the development of NTD policy in these areas for seven diseases:
- Gambian human African trypanosomiasis
- Lymphatic filariasis
- Soil-transmitted helminthiasis
- Visceral leishmaniasis.
We will use multiple modelling groups per disease to ensure robust scientific insights. Throughout our activities we will actively engage with key stakeholders – including donors, international policy makers and endemic country programs to ensure that our analyses are addressing the right questions and providing the answers in a useable form. The schematic below identifies priority questions and places the NTDs in this proposal in terms of their evidence base and priority questions. Overall, this proposal aims to provide the NTD community with an important element of the evidence base for effective decision making in the coming years.