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ITM News

There only a few treatments available for neglected tropical diseases. Bacteria, parasites and viruses are unfortunately smart little creatures, which over time often become resistant against the medicines that are trying to defeat them. The ITM will thoroughly test new medication that is being developed against neglected diseases on their efficacy against resistant pathogens.

Although more and more people living with HIV are on antiretroviral treatment, we haven't been able to reduce the number of new infections worldwide. Despite all the scientific and social forces that have united in the fight against HIV/AIDS, we will have to get used to the idea that this disease will remain a huge problem. Unless we draw lessons and take a different approach.

At the close of the European HIV testing week the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine clocked up nearly 400 saliva tests from people with multiple sexual partners, who run a higher risk of contracting HIV. ITM launched the Swab2Know prevention project on World Aids Day in 2012 (held annually on 1 December) and detected 35 additional HIV cases in the last three years.

The 2016 Emerging Voices 4 Global Health (EV4GH), linked to the 4th global symposium on Health System Research in Vancouver, brought together about 40 young and promising health system researchers and professionals. EV4GH is a multi-partner blended training programme that aims to generate a new generation of global and local change makers, focussing on young health systems researchers from the South.

There is no significant association between the dose of anti-Ebola virus antibodies administered and mortality, ITM’s Johan van Griensven and Ebola-Tx researchers write in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Globally about 442 million people live with this chronic condition, most of them in low-income countries, where health systems often function poorly. As they are not equipped to follow-up on patients or improve the quality of care, chronic disease management largely falls under the responsibility of the patients.

Clinical innovation is essential in order to tackle neglected tropical diseases, which threaten one billion people worldwide. A group of international scientists, led by the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine, has published a guide for clinical studies in difficult field conditions in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

ITM, its Guinean partner institution Centre National de Recherche et Formation en Santé rurale and the Guinean NGO Fraternité Médicale Guinée (FMG) will provide trainings to young health workers. The three institutions join forces to improve the quality of care and strengthen the much-weakened Guinean health system. The project is part of the new framework agreement signed recently between ITM and the Belgian Development Agency (BTC).

Op zondag 27 november is het Dag van de Wetenschap. Ook het ITG stelt zijn deuren open, maar een bezoek is op eigen risico! Je raakt er virtueel besmet. Welke ziekte heb je? Welke behandeling heb je nodig? Ga met een app in de hand samen op pad in de mooie wijk rond het ITG en kom rondom en in ons gebouw alles te weten over je besmetting.

ITM and the KU Leuven are part of a group of international organisations that will carry out Zika research with funding from the European Union. Last Friday, the European Commission announced it made 45 million euro available for research into the Zika virus and other infectious diseases spread by mosquitoes.